Buckhorn plantain

Encyclopedia Article

Buckhorn plantain                 Plantago lanceolata L.

Family:   Plantaginaceae (Plantain family)
Life cycle:  Perennial, reproducing by seed
Native status: Native to Africa, Asia and Europe
Habitat:  Turf, landscapes, pastures

General description:   Basal rosette of narrow, parallel-veined leaves.  Leaves reach lengths up to 10 in long and 1-2 in wide.  Flowers form on leafless, unbranched stems up to 1 ft tall; flowers tightly clustered in a spike up to 2 in long.

Key ID traits:   Rosette of narrow leaves; flower spike on long stalk.

Similar species: The long lanceolate leaves distinguish buckhorn plantain from the other common broadleaf species common in Iowa, broadleaf and blackseed.

Miscellaneous:  Due to its sensitivity to 2,4-D and other growth regulator herbicides, buckhorn plantain is much less common in turf than it formerly was.  Classified as a noxious weed in Iowa (although I’m not sure why)

Buckhorn plantain forms a basal rosette with lanceolate leaves'

Leaves have deeply recessed veins and flower stalk a short spike of flowers.


Flower spike with pollen producing anthers.