Plantago media

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

Plantago media, known as the hoary plantain, is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. It is 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 the genus Plantago, it should not be confused with the unrelated plantain, a starchy banana.

Description[edit]

Inflorescence

Plantago media grows in damp grassy meadows up to an altitude of 2000 m. A slender stalk of between 5 and 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.

Habitat[edit]

Plantago media can be found in lawns and waste places.[1]

Uses[edit]

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.[2] The seeds are a laxative.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parnell, J. and Curtis,T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
  2. ^ "Plantago media". Archaeobotanical Computer Database (ABCD). Retrieved 2006-05-29.