University of Maryland Extension


(More Lawn Weeds)  (Lawn Control Options)  

Broadleaf plantain
Plantago major

broadleaf plantain



Growth habit

Basal rosette of broad, oval leaves with 5 to 7 prominent, nearly parallel veins; small flowers clustered along tan-green, erect, leafless stalks less than 1-ft. tall; flower spikes have the appearance of a rigid cylindrical stalk with flowers and seeds formed along its length.


Seeds that attach to passing people and animals and hitch-hike to another location.

Conditions that favor growth 

Dry, compacted soil; infrequent or improper fertilizer applications


Cultural control: Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment.

Mechanical control: Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.
General chemical control: (lawns) 
Spot treat weeds with a liquid, selective, postemergent, broadleaf weed killer applied when weeds are actively growing. Look for a product with one or more of the following active ingredients:
2, 4-DMCPP (mecoprop), Dicamba* or Triclopyr

*Do not spray herbicides containing dicamba over the root zone of trees and shrubs. Roots can absorb the product possibly causing plant damage. Read the product label for precautions. 

Organic control

For a glossary of herbicide terms and additional information see: control options     



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