Perennial. Naturalized from Europe. In fields and on roadsides, a very common weed. April-June.
Naked, grooved, angled, slender, one to two feet high.
Lanceolate or lance-oblong, forming a loose rosette upon the ground, ribbed, hairy.
Minute, whitish, noticeable because projecting style and stamens are more conspicuous than the corolla; in a spike which lengthens as the flowers open.
Four imbricated, persistent sepals, scarious and brownish.
Rotate; border four-parted; withering on the pod.
Four; anthers long-exserted after the corolla has opened.
Ovary two-celled; style and long hairy stigma projecting from the unopened corolla.
Capsule, two-celled; when ripe the top falls off like a lid.
This is sometimes called Ribwort, and it has also a common name - Kemp, a Danish word meaning soldier, which use of the word seems to have come from a sport of children in knocking the heads of these stalks with others of the same size held in the hand, turn and turn about. The point of the game is the removal of the white anthers. Other common names suggestive of such pastime are Fighting-Cocks, Hardheads, French-and-English.
Rib-Grass. Plantago lanceolata