Plantain, Narrow-leaved, Plantago lanceolata

Life Cycle



Reproducing only by seed.


Wirey green and leafless stem.


Narrow leaves which have very prominent, almost parallel veins or ribs which run the length of the leaf, sometimes the blade being strongly folded lengthwise along each rib.

Flowers and Fruit

Short, compact, somewhat oval spike of tiny flowers at the ends of long, thin, leafless stems; at flowering, the spike surrounded by a halo of anthers at the ends of long thin stamens protruding from the flowers. The seedpod contains only 1 or 2 seeds each about 3 mm long. Flowers from spring until late autumn and the plant may act as an annual or perennial.


It occurs throughout Ontario in pastures, meadows, roadsides, cultivated fields, lawns and gardens.

Distinguishing Features

It is distinguished by its rosette of long, narrow leaves with prominent, parallel veins, and its slender, leafless stems tipped with short, dense oval spikes of tiny flowers.

Figure #1.

A. Plant B. Seedling

Figure #2.


Figure #3.

4 leaf seedling

Figure #4.

Narrow leaves with prominent parallel veins

Figure #5.

Flower head

Figure #6.

half mature flower head

Figure #7.

Mature seed head

Figure #8.

Seedpod and seeds

Figure #9.

Whole plant