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Greater plantain (Plantago major)

Greater plantain (Plantago major) is a perennial weed that is often found on roadsides, tracks, waste and cultivated ground. It is very tough, being able to withstand both drought and water logging and also treading.

Greater plantain flowers from May to September and the flowers are wind pollinated and can self-fertilise. There are up to 26 seed capsules per cm length of flower and up to 10 seeds per capsule.

Greater plantain can survive lawns and borders and its deep tap roots can re-grow when the top of the plant is cut off. Left untreated it will take nutrients and light from grass plants leading to bare patches in the lawn.

The weed is a clump of leaves usually growing from a single spot, but sometimes multiple points. Tall, thin flower stalks are topped by dense, green small flowers, turning brown as seeds form.

Treatment

Aerate often as a preventative, though once greater plantain is established dig up and remove the flower spikes before they can produce seed.

If there is too much to remove by hand use Greenor to get rid of greater plantain.

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