Plantago lanceolata

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaPlantaginaceaePlantagoPlantago lanceolata


A perennial herb, found in a wide range of habitats over all but the most acidic soils. It occurs in meadows and pastures, in upland grasslands, on rock ledges and crevices, sand dunes and cliffs (including sites subject to sea-spray), on roadsides and river banks, in cultivated and waste ground, in lawns and on walls. Seed is moderately long-lived. 0-790 m in Atholl (E. Perth), and 845 m on Great Dun Fell (Westmorland).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Southern-temperate element, but widely naturalised so that distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.

© G. Toone, IWNHAS

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 7

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 4


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 14.5

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1105

Life form information

Height (cm): 15

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Comment on Clonality

Underground stems longer-lasting than Bellis; Clopla1 also suggests that produces buds on roots

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 2804

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 985

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 14

Atlas Change Index: 1.35

Weighted Changed Factor: -75

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (254c)
Cavers PB, Bassett IJ, Crompton CW
1980.  The biology of Canadian weeds. 47. Plantago lanceolata L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 60:1269-1282.
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Sagar GR, Harper JL
1964.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 95. Plantago major L. (pp. 189-205), Plantago media L. (pp. 205-210), Plantago lanceolata L. (pp. 211-218). Journal of Ecology. 52:189-221.