Plantago media

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Hoary plantain
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Plantago
Species: P. media
Binomial name
Plantago media

Plantago media, known as the hoary plantain, is a species of genus Plantago native to central and western Europe, including Great Britain and introduced to parts of the north-east United States. Its generic name is derived from the Latin for sole; like other members of Plantago, it should not be confused with the plantain, a starchy banana.



Plantago media grows in damp grassy meadows up to an altitude of 2000 m. A slender stalk of between 5 to 50 cm develops from a basal rosette of finely-haired leaves. Delicate pink-white flowers are borne between May and September. P. media is hermaphrodite and is pollinated by wind or insects, particularly bees.

The plant is edible and has long maintained a reputation for medicinal effects as an astringent for treating wounds.[citation needed] In antiquity it was employed against toothache and eye infections.[citation needed] Archeological finds testify to its use during the Roman era in Britain.[1] The seeds are a laxative.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Plantago media". Archaeobotanical Computer Database (ABCD). Retrieved 2006-05-29.