Latin Name: Plantago coronopus
Description: A low hairy herb. It has a long tap root. It usually grows over 2 years. The leaves grow from the base and spread out. The leaves are highly divided. They are in a ring around the stem. The leaves are green but can turn red with age. The leaves vary in size and shape but are often 4-10 cm long. The flowers are small and occur in large numbers. They form a dense narrow spike. This is 1-8 cm long. It is in a long hairy stalk.
Notes: It is a commercially cultivated vegetable.
Edibility Rating out of 5: 3
Medicinal Rating out of 5: 2
Edible Uses: The very young shoots are used in tossed salads. It needs to be picked while young when there is a ring of young leaves but no flower. One of the nicer tasting members of this genus, the leaves are fairly tender and have a slight bitterness. Some people blanch the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds before using them in salads in order to make them more tender. This leaf is one of the ingredients of ‘misticanze’, a salad mixture of wild and cultivated leaves that originated in the Marche region of Italy.
Warnings: None known
Medicinal Uses: None known