Plantago lanceolata, The Ribwort Plantain.

Ribwort Plantain inflorescence (Plantago lanceolata)A common plant of meadows and grass land, Ribwort Plantain is also a common lawn weed.

Short creamy, brown flower heads are carried on long ribbed stems and they can grow quite tall when competing with grasses. The flower stems are leafless, the leaves all stem from the base of the plant.

Ribwort Plantain plant (Plantago lanceolata)When the flower head first appears the closed bracts present a very dark, almost black face to the world.

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata) Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)   Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)   Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)The familiar ring of creamy, white stamens appears as the flowers start to open. They open from the bottom of the flower head first and the ring moves slowly upwards.

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower head (Plantago lanceolata)The small flowers are composed of four cream coloured petals with a brown central rib (technically the four petals should be called a corolla because they are not actually individual petals but fused together) The overall effect is of a light brown flower head surrounded by a ring of white stamens.

Ribwort Plantain flower (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain flower (Plantago lanceolata)The stem is deeply ridged as are the lance-shaped leaves and depending on who you read, one of these ribbed features gives the plant the name Ribwort.

Ribwort Plantain stem (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain Leaf (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain Plant (Plantago lanceolata)

Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Plantaginaceae

Genus: Plantago

Species: Plantago lanceolata

Ribwort Plantain Plant (Plantago lanceolata)

Ribwort Plantain Plant (Plantago lanceolata)Back to Cream Wildflowers

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Wild flowers from The Forest of Dean

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