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)