Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Common Plantain (Broadleaf Plantain) (Plantago major): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 20, 2010 Southeastern New Hampshire Common or Broadleaf Plantain and Blackseed Plantain are, by far, the two most common types of plantain in Southeastern, New Hampshire. The rosette of somewhat glossy leaves and parallel veins on the leaves make it easy to identify. There are a number of differences between Common or Broadleaf Plantain and Blackseed Plantain. The most obvious difference as you can see in the images is that the Blackseed Plantain (right image) has a strong redish-purple tinge to the on the leaf stalks at the base of the rosette. Common or Broadleaf Plantain (left image) almost always has little or no redish-purple tinge at the base of the rosette.

Other differences according to Weeds of the Northeast include:
  • Blackseed leaf margin is wavy-toothed while the Common/Broadleaf usually has an untoothed (entire) margin or irregularly toothed margin.
  • Blackseed has little/no hairs on leaf blade. Common/Broadleaf has short and inconspicuous hairs.
  • The Blackseed bract leaf near the flowers tend to lanceolate with a tapering and very slender tip. The Common/Broadleaf bract leaf is egg-shaped and blunt at the tip.
  • Blackseed seeds are a dull dark brown or black. Common/Broadleaf seeds are glossy and light brown to dark brown.
  • Blackseed has a cylindrical or elliptic, 4-10 seeded fruit capsule splitting well below the middle. Common/Broadleaf has a egg-to-diamond shaped, 6-20 seeded fruit capsule splitting around the middle.
Date Location Notes Images
May 8, 2011 Southeastern New Hampshire Broadleaf Plantain in the Spring.
Date Location Notes Images
May 19, 2014 Southeastern, Connecticut