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
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.
Hand remove small/isolated infestations. This can be done at any time during the year.
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.
January, February, March, November, December
Green, Yellow, Brown
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.