|This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (March 2013)|
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.
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.
Plantago media can be found in lawns and waste places.
The plant is edible and has long maintained a reputation for medicinal effects as an astringent for treating wounds. In antiquity it was employed against toothache and eye infections. Archeological finds testify to its use during the Roman era in Britain. The seeds are a laxative.
- Parnell, J. and Curtis,T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
- "Plantago media". Archaeobotanical Computer Database (ABCD). Retrieved 2006-05-29.
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