Common plantain

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Plantago major L.

Common name(s): common plantain, broadleaf plantain, great plantain, greater plantain

Link(s): USDA PLANTS Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)



-leaves are

  • basal
  • broad ovate
  • 3-9 prominent veins

-may be confused with P. media or P. rugelli; see left sidebar of Go Botany webpage


-disturbed areas

-artificial habitats



Natural History:

-Native to Europe

-uses for herbal medicine

  • constipation
  • coughs
  • wounds


Najafian, Y., Hamedi, S. S., Farshchi, M. K., & Feyzabadi, Z. (2018). Plantago major in traditional persian medicine and modern phytotherapy: A narrative review. Electronic Physician, 10(2), 6390-6399. doi:10.19082/6390

Go Botany. “Plantago Major L.” Plantago Major (Common Plantain): Go Botany, 2021,