Ribwort Plantain
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Ribwort Plantain
ative Photo: Seema Bin Zeenat
Common name: Ribwort Plantain, English plantain, Narrowleaf plantain • Hindi: Baltanga, ईसबगोल Isabgol • Sanskrit: अस्वगोल Asvagola • Urdu: Bartang
Botanical name: Plantago lanceolata    Family: Plantaginaceae (Isabgol family)

Ribwort Plantain is a common weed of cultivated land. The plant is a rosette-forming perennial herb, with leafless, silky, hairy flower stems 10-40 cm tall. The basal leaves are lanceshaped, spreading or erect, scarcely-toothed, with 3-5 strong parallel veins, narrowed to a short stalk. Grouping leaf stalk is deeply furrowed, ending in an oblong inflorescence of many small flowers each with a pointed bract. Each flower can produce up to two seeds. Flowers are 4 mm, calyx green, corolla brownish, 4 bent back lobes with brown midribs. Long white stamens are the most visible part of the flowers. This species is globally distributed in Eurasia, introduced to North America. Within India, it is found in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and West Bengal, at altitudes of 1500-2400 m. Flowering: April-October.
Medicinal uses: Leaves and roots used in cough, asthma and other pulmonary diseases; leaves applied to wounds and sores; seeds purgative.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Jammu & Kashmir.

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