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Plantago lanceolata L.
Ribwort Plantain

Sp.Pl. 1:113-114 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Rosetted perennial, herb, 0.1-0.9 m high. Fl. green-yellow-brown, Nov to Dec or Jan to Mar. Variety of soils. In gardens & other disturbed sites.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 25 March 1997


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Geraldton Sandplains, Jarrah Forest, Nullarbor, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Katanning, Lesueur Sandplain, Northern Jarrah Forest, Nullarbor Plain, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Armadale, Augusta Margaret River, Bayswater, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Bunbury, Busselton, Capel, Cockburn, Coorow, Dardanup, Denmark, Gosnells, Harvey, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Manjimup, Mundaring, Nannup, Narrogin, Plantagenet, Rockingham, Stirling, Swan, Wanneroo, Waroona.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. English Plantain, Narrow-Leaved Plantain, Lamb’s Tongue, Plantain.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also stem fragments. Dispersal. Soil, water, birds (including galahs and cockatoos). Seedbank persistence. Some dormancy. Fire response. Resprouts after fire.

Notes. Widely naturalised. Common weed of disturbed sites including roadsides. persistent taproot. Has longevity of 1-3 years. Likely wind pollinated. Main growth period is in spring and autumn, grows moderately in winter, and opportunitistically in summer. A deep persistent taproot gives it some drought tolerance. Germinates in darkness and with earlier germination, larger seedling size and longer leaves, it is more competitive than other than Plantago species. Has evolved resistance to Group G/9 herbicides in South Africa.

Additional information. Origin. Europe, temperate and tropical Asia, North Africa. History of use/introduction. Animal forage. Similar native species. Plantago debilis, P. drummondii, P. exilis.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand remove small/isolated infestations. Spray in early stages of growth with 1% glyphosate. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Germination       U U U              
Active Growth O O O Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y O  
Flowering Y Y Y               Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y Y                  
Manual Removal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment         Y Y Y Y Y Y      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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