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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

01 October, 2016

Ribwort Plantain: take your medicine

I think ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) is probably the most common flowering plant to be found in Dorset. There are species very common in certain habitats, daisies in my lawn for example, but ribwort can be found just about anywhere and everywhere and in good numbers too. 
In my days of leading walks I found some people were surprised that ribwort plantain was truly a flower, it being far from the typical flowering plant. It has a tall stem with a single brown, clustered flowering body at the top surrounded by a dispersed ring of white stamens. The leaves are also tall and thin (lanceolate) with ribs running the length of them; it is not hard to see how its name comes about.
As with many common herbs of the countryside ribwort plantain has been used as a herbal remedy for many ailments but it is thought that a tea made from the leaves is an effective cough medicine. 
Ribwort Plantain: take your medicine