Broadleaf Plantain

Plantago major

Commonly known as greater plantain, dooryard plantain

Broadleaf plantain is one of the more common lawn pests. Often compared closely to the invasiveness of the dandelion, it can germinate and steadily grow in the harshest of conditions. Over-wintering in Idaho is not uncommon in milder winter months. It does very well in compact soils or where heavy traffic occurs in lawns. It can grow in a variety of areas including sidewalks, flower beds and roadsides. Broadleaf plantains have shown many uses for food and medicinal purposes.

Its wide leaves can easily be spotted in lawns. Its leaves have 5 to 7 ribs and a flowering spike that flowers and seeds. Regular lawn mowing keeps the spike from forming and thusly seeds from pollinating. Seeds usually pollinate via wind drift. Pre-emergent treatment has not proved viable but spot treating with selective herbicides in lawns is effective.

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