[Wikipedia] Eurasia native, Description: Plantago major, the broadleaf plantain, white man's footprint, waybread, or greater plantain, is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. The plant is native to Eurasia.
The young, tender leaves can be eaten raw, and the older, stringier leaves can be boiled in stews and eaten.
Broadleaf Plantain Spike
Plantago major is a herbaceous, perennial plant with a rosette of leaves 15?30 centimetres (6?12 inches) in diameter. Each leaf is oval-shaped, 5?20 cm (2?8 in) long and 4?9 cm (1+1?2?3+1?2 in) broad, rarely up to 30 cm (12 in) long and 17 cm (7 in) broad, with an acute apex, a smooth margin, and a distinct petiole almost as long as the leaf itself. There are five to nine conspicuous veins over the length of the leaf. The flowers are small, greenish-brown with purple stamens, produced in a dense spike 5?15 cm (2?6 in) long on top of a stem 13?15 cm (5?6 in) tall and rarely to 70 cm (28 in) tall.
Plantain is wind-pollinated and propagates primarily by seeds, which are held on the long, narrow spikes which rise well above the foliage. Each plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds, which are very small and oval-shaped, with a bitter taste. (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)
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