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RIBWORT PLANTAIN : Plantago lanceolata

The Wildlife Trust website has as its first observation that Ribwort plantain is usually considered a week. This though is a surprising plant in that it looks like its flowers, have been battered by high winds until almost everyhting has been removed. Some may guess that it is a bald dandelion. But look closer and you will see a unique beauty. 

The name of plantain may to many signify something like a banana. Perhaps there is a correlation as the flowerhead of this small plant is vaguely banana shaped. 

The brown flower head is encircled by small cream coloured anthers on thin stalks like miniature planets. The resulting seed heads provide food for birds in winter. 

This plant is used in herbal teas and other herbal remedies such as a cough medicine or externally for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, insect bites, and infections. The leaves can be eaten when very young.

Songbirds eat the seeds, and the leaves are eaten by rabbits

Children through the ages have uesed the flower heads in a game that's similar to conkers. They pick the stems and knock the flower heads together, battling it out to see whose head drops off the stem first.

Examples found near Bonhill Bridge

Some examples in May. This is so often overlooked in terms of aesthetics, but here it effuses its attractive design with a minute solar system surrounding the central stalk.

WIKIPEDIA : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_lanceolata

WILDLIFE TRUSTS : https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/ribwort-plantain


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