Monday, October 11, 2010

Buck's Horn Plantain, Plantago coronopus

Plantago coronopus
Eat your weeds! They're good for you? I actually purchased seeds of this as the packet said the flavor of the leaves added a 'bitter high note to salads' I have kept just a few plants, pictured here growing close to some broccoli . A similar species from Greece, Plantago crassifolia, is given the name of 'Goose's Tongue', Arnoghlosson in Greek,  and is used as a cooked green vegetable. Plantain's were once called 'white man's footprint' because they were a weed of colonisation in America and Australia. Plantago coronopus is listed as a coastal weed of southern Australia. It is native to Europe where it has a long history as a survival food and use in herbal medicine. On the battlefield it became known as 'soldier's herb'. The astringent quality of the leaves made it useful for the treatment of wounds and bleeding. Shakespeare alludes to this when Romeo says 'Your plantain leaf is excellent for broken skin'

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