Ribwort Plantain

Ribwort Plantain.

Common name

Ribwort Plantain

Scientific Name

Plantago lanceolata

Type of plant


About this weed

This short lived perennial or annual was originally from Europe, temperate and tropical Asia and north Africa and introduced as animal forage.  It has a distinctive  ribbed stem and rosetted leaves at the base.


Ribwort Plantain is an annual or perennial growing to about 1 m high. The inflorescence is a brown cylinder up to 7 cm long and bears green/yellow/brown flowers during the summer months. The main growth period is in spring and autumn, grows moderately in winter, and opportunistically in summer. A deep persistent taproot gives it some drought tolerance. Seeds germinate in darkness and with earlier germination, larger seedling size and longer leaves are produced. It is more competitive than other Plantago species and lives between 1 and 3 years. Its primary method of reproduction is seed but will resprout after fire.

Impact on Bushland

Not available.


This weed is found in a variety of soils in the wetter parts of the South-West Province. It has become widely naturalised and can be found in gardens, on sports ovals, roadsides and other disturbed sites from Perth to Albany.

Priority for removal

Unknown: may disrupt ecological processes or result in loss of biodiversity.

Management (hand)

Hand remove small/isolated infestations. This can be done at any time during the year.

Management (herbicide)

Spray in early stages of growth with 1% Glyphosate. Read the manufacturers’ labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. It has evolved resistance to Group G/9 herbicides in South Africa. The optimum months for spraying are May to October.

Flowering month/s

January, February, March, November, December

Flower colour/s

Green, Yellow, Brown

Information source


Additional information


Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. and Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia, Second Edition, The Weeds Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park, Western Australia.

Ribwort Plantain images


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2 Delhi Street West Perth WA 6005

PO Box 326 West Perth WA 6872

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