Plantain, or PLantago, L. a genus of plants, comprising 39 species ; the following of which are indigenous, and deserve attention.
1. The major, Greater Plantain, or Way-brEad, is perennial ; grows on road-sides ; and flowers from June till August.— According to Dr. Withering, the country people apply the bruised green leaves of this vegetable to slight wounds.—Cows and horses do not relish the plant, but it is eaten by sheep, goats, and swine.
2. The lanceolata, Ribwort-Plaintain, or Rib-grass, is also a perennial plant, very common in pastures, and flowers in the month of June.—Linnaeus remarks, that this herb is eaten by horses, sheep, and goats, but wholly refused by cows; though the richness of the milk in the noted Alpine dairies, is, by Haller, attributed to the nutriment derived from this plant, and the Common Ladies-Mantle. —The former is often cultivated for pasturage, but does not answer the purpose, unless combined with cover or other grasses. The total absence of rib-grass, in marshy lands, is a certain criterion of their indifferent quality ; and, in proportion as such soils are improved by draining, this plant will flourish and abound.—Dr. Withering observes, that when it grows detached from other grasses, for instance, by the sides of foot-paths, he has never known cattle to touch the Ribwort-Plantain; but that they- certainly eat it, when mixed with other herbage.
3. The Coronopus, Buckshorn-Plantain, Star-of-thb-Earth, or Hartshorn, grows on gravelly soils, near the sea-shore; and flowers from June till August.— There are two indigenous varieties of this species ; namely, the Cora-m,on Buckshorn, which abounds on heaths ; and the Narrow-leaved.. Weleh Piaintain, that nourishes on the mountains of that country.—. Both afford wholesome food for horses and Bechstein informs us, that they have, in Germany, been used with great success for curing the bite of a mad dog, as well as that of other raving animals.
Greater-Water Plantain, or Thrum wort, Aiisma Piantago, L. a native perennial plant, growing in watery places, on the banks of pools, and rivers ; and flowering from July to August, —This acrid and poisonous vegetable is extremely deleterious to sheep and cattle : hence it ought to be carefully eradicated in the spring, or summer, before it can be farther propagated by its seeds.