Scientific Name: Plantago major
Also known as: Buckhorn Plantain, Paleseed Plantain
Broadleaf plantain is a shallow mostly fibrous rooted perennial. The leaves which develop in a rosette are large oval shaped with predominant veins. Broadleaf plantain is similar to several other plantain species, but does not have the purple color at the petiole of the leaves. The main growth period for broadleaf plantain is from June through September. The seedhead is described as a rat-tail like seed head with flowers along the upper half of the seed head. Broadleaf plantain spreads by both seed and shoots from the roots. Broadleaf plantain is found throughout all of the United States.
Broadleaf plantain can be mechanically or physically removed. Care should be taken to assure that roots are thoroughly removed. Close mowing prevents seedhead formation and helps to prevent spread. Good turf density is important as broadleaf plantain competes by shading other plant species with its broad rosette of leaves. Good insect and disease control will help to prevent the open spaces that broadleaf plantain will fill. Good fertility and proper soil pH will help to prevent infestations. Soil testing which reveals high pH levels should be acidified, to a pH level of 6.5 to 7.
Apply a selective broadleaf herbicide in mid-spring after seed germination in the rosette to flower stage or in the fall when active growth has resumed.
Weed Photos: Courtesy of Dr. Lambert McCartey. Clemson University. Clemson, SC.