RIBWORT PLANTAIN (Plantago lanceolata)

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

Doug Larson

…..and the last grass I’ll be sharing this week is Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata).   I just double-checked its name and it seems to have quite a few.

I know it as Ribwort.  I’ve photographed it many times, but the image I like best is the one below as it has a more interesting background than my other photos.

Besides, it is the only one in my GRASS – Ribwort folder 😀 ), so with our current heatwave here in Melbourne making me rather lethargic toward wading through my Photo Library to find some other photos, this image will do.

RIBWORT or RIBGRASS (Plantago lanceolata L.)

Very closely related to Plantago Major, it’s very tolerant and can adapt to extreme condition. This plant can actually live anywhere from very dry meadows to places similar to a rain forest, roadsides, open woodlands and grasslands.

When I was studying Herbal Medicine in the early 1990s, I vaguely remember it being noted for its blood-staunching properties.   I was reading a great website this afternoon and copied the information straight across to this post in case you’d like to know a bit more.




Same as his relative Common Plantain, Ribwort Plantain is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly staunches blood flow and, as an antimicrobial, encourages the repair of damaged tissue to promote faster healing.

The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds or skin inflammations, and as an external antihistamine against  animal stings or bites.

The entire plant is astringent, demulcent and ophthalmicA distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion. The leaves find also use as a nutritious tea rich of vitamins, minerals, mucilage and tannins.

Yet an other great wild medicinal plant and edible vegetable. For survivalists and woodsman this is a plant you must know because it can help heal wounds, prevent infection and the seeds can serve as a starchy food source.



Ribwort Plantain is a very nutritional leafy vegetable containing Calcium, and vitamins A,C, and K. Its young leaves are eaten raw, but larger leaves get tough and are much better cooked. Leaves have a slightly bitter flavour, which makes them more suitable to add to soups or salad, rather than consumed by themselves. Roots and seeds are also edible, usually cooked, same as the flower buds that work well for making a mushroom kind of taste stock.