Brought to North America as a valuable herb and edible green, Plantain is a perennial that is still used today as a crop for birdseed. Plantain is a plant that has large leaves and grows low to the ground, and produces a sticky seed that often gets stuck to the bottom of shoes.
Before the days of the automobile when most travel was done by foot, the cool leaves of the Plantain plant was used to relieve sore feet. It has also been used as a remedy for scorpion, snake and insect bites, and farmers would use it to heal wounds from scythes and sickles at harvest time. Plantain has also been used as a leafy vegetable; young leaves can be used like spinach or eaten as a salad. Dried leaves of the Plantain plant can be brewed as a tea.
Control of Broadleaf Plantain is considered to be easy. Chemical control with a broadleaf herbicide will generally eliminate the problem in one to two applications. Proper cultural practices will ensure future control without the use of chemicals. A lawn that is fertilized on a regular basis, watered weekly and cut at a mowing height of 2 ½ to 3 inches will create a lawn that is thick and vigorous, thus preventing the germination of Plantain and other weeds.
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