Ribwort Plantain

I can’t say what it is about weeds that l have always loved? Perhaps it is quite simply because they are misunderstood like some animal species. Whatever your opinion or view is on weeds, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay.

Twenty-five years ago, l used to forage for weeds to feed the enormous number of rabbits l had in my commercial breeding operation. Knowing about them made everything easier because it meant that l wouldn’t accidentally kill an animal by feeding the wrong weed.

Most weeds are harmless, not all. Of course, some are and can be deadly. The fact is that people don’t like weeds because they don’t belong where they usually appear or are out of place. Many a time, gardeners especially don’t want them because weeds tend to grow quicker and easier than many ornamental flowers.

Weeds have a way of surviving. They are ONLY considered weeds on the domestic level because, let’s be honest, when we are out walking in the countryside, how many people are bothered by the presence of weeds then?

There are advantages and disadvantages to having weeds in your gardens and yards. They do have a lot of benefits that many people tend to ignore, and this series will highlight that.
The Beauty of Weeds

Companion Plantings
Encouraging wildlife
Fertilising and enriching the soils
Providing and active Mulch/Soil protection
Attracting pollinators and good insects
Repelling pests
Food source for animals and humans
Serves as decoy crops
Great for wildlifing the garden
Soil conditioning

Ribort Plantain

Plantago lanceolata

“What a lonely place it would be to have a world without a wildflower!”

Roland R. Kemler

Ribwort Plantain is a weed/wildflower pending upon who is looking at it and where that is not that bad if you have it in your garden. It is one of the good weeds. Allow the plant to grow and die off naturally, enriching the soil. The roots of the plant are able to loosen off compacted soils.

Also, you can eat the plant in its entirety, although l would personally suggest doing so when the plants are younger, and the leaves are tender. You can eat the leaves raw, or you can cook them. That choice is yours. They are great in salads, but equally, they serve well if pan-fried in some olive oil, and yes, you can make a Plantain Tea from it.

It grows in abundance around here, and l see both the Ribwort, Greater and Broadleaf varieties. It can be found in gardens, woodland, grasslands and fields and roadside verges. Although if foraging to consume do not collect from the road as the traffic fumes will poison the plant.

The plantain leaves can also serve as a salve similar to that of dock Leaves when used as a soother to nettle itch or bites and stings from insects.

Pollinators and butterflies love the plantain plants, and birds love the seed heads. It is a lovely addition to a wildlife garden.
Plantain Herb Benefits, Recipes & How To Identify

I hope you enjoyed R for Ribwort Plantain and I’ll see you again soon.

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Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

17 thoughts on “Ribwort Plantain

  1. I always tell visitors if they get stung by a bee to grab a plantain leaf and crush it up and rub it on the sting. Stops the pain instantly. I also noticed that our chickens like to eat the leaves. (Probably the seeds too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting 🧐

    Weeds would not be good for me though …unless in middle of no where, then I like natural … except even there you MUST clear some because we have rattlesnakes and things so 🤷‍♀️

    It’s the invasiveness of a weed – I would not be good with controlling

    But very cool with what can do with 👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh l agree, there are some things people don’t need to be growing given the invasiveness and the allure of predators. Reflective upon of course where you are in the world.

      In the UK we don’t have the deadlies like a lot of other countries do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha yes we can… but they are a few notches above us 😳

        But yes paired be scary lol

        Does UK not have deadly things? Like Ireland has no snakes? 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not like you or Oz, but the biggest threat here is the same as both of you and that is humans themselves.

        Scaling down from there l guess some of the larger animals could cause injuries like the deer running across roads and feral cows out on the moors. We also have a herd or three of wild boars.

        We do have adders [snakes] but they are not fatal but might cause a reaction, some of the caterpillars are known to be problematic … so the UK is more along those lines 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah none of your stuff seems scary?

        No deadly snakes, no alligators, no deadly spiders or scorpions 🦂? lol bears? Mountain lions?

        The UK sounds safer

        I just googled “the UK’s most deadliest animal” and it said cattle and you have a body count from cattle at 4 to 5 people a year 😮😮

        What’s up with your cattle??

        Wow!! I learn something new! I had no idea 😮

        Ok yes … us and Australia are way more dangerous lol

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Cattle out on the open lands can cause problems for walkers especially feral cattle. Dog walkers have been killed by feral and domestic cattle alongside their dogs.

        Dogs worry cattle and bark around them and if a walker walks through a field with cattle they should have a dog on the lead and most assuredly if it is calfing season.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hahaha they used to wander through my parents streets – was normal thing lol

        My mom thought was craziest thing – she used to talk about them all the time lol

        Liked by 1 person

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