Ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata

The long stalks of this plant, with their distinctive, spear-shaped flowerheads are a common sight on roadsides and lawns.

Ribwort plantain is often seen as a nuisance to many gardeners. However, for those looking to attract wildlife its worth allowing it a small place on your lawn: this plant attracts many small butterflies, moths and hoverflies and provides a good source of food for birds in the winter.

You can distinguish it from other species by its rosette of long, narrow, hairy dark green leaves to that can grow up to 25cm long.

Habitat

Grassy places, roadsides, hedge banks, lawns.

Did you know?

Although a favourite food source of many insects, birds and even sheep, the ribwort plantain is surprisingly unpopular with slugs and snails - they find the leaves unpalatable.