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Ribrgrass plantain is a short rosette-forming herb with leathery ribbed leaves sprouting from the base of the plant. In grazed or mown turf, and over winter, the leaves are rounded and flattened to the ground, but in meadows and taller grassland the leaves grow upwards and are elongated in shape. The flavor of Ribgrass plantain is grassy sweet with notes of woody herbs and citrus.
Ribgrass Plantain is available year-round.
Ribgrass Plantain, botanical name Plantago lanceolata, is also commonly known as "ribwort", "ribble grass", or "jackstraw." It primarily grows wild and is cultivated as feed grass for livestock, especially sheep and cattle as it contains higher levels of sugar than other grasses. The sugars in the grass enhance weight gain in the animals.
Ribgrass plantain contains trace amounts of minerals and contains anti-oxidive and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Foraged Ribgrass plantain can be used as an accompanying ingredient in dishes raw or cooked. It is best suited to compliment other greens in raw applications and may be considered for applications similar to how hay is used to enhance the flavor of proteins such as chicken and fish where the Ribgrass plantain can be dried and smoked or even baked. Complimentary ingredients include herbs such as basil, mint and arugula, mild lettuces such as butter leaf, fresh and soft cheeses, figs, nuts and nut oils, chiles and citrus.
Ribgrass plantain is native to Eurasia. It has naturalized throughout the world with the exception of a few areas in the sub-arctic. Its global spread can partially be attributed to it existing as a contaminant of crop seed and sprouting in previously foreign territories. It is a very resiliant plant and can be found in all but the most acid grassland from tall meadow communities to grazed pasture, lawns, sea cliffs and sand dunes. Ribgrass plantain seeds have their own water retaining gel enabling the grass to grow in dry soils when other species cannot. If conditions are poor, the seed is long-lived and can hibernate in the soil for years until conditions are favorable. Within the United States, it is considered a noxious weed in 28 states.