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Buck's Horn Plantain

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Buck's Horn Plantain Photos

Scientific Name:Plantago coronopus
Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain_plants Buck's Horn Plantain
Photo: A J Brown


Native to Western Europe, Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Naturalised in all Australian states and New Zealand

Plant Description:

Low growing, strongly tap-rooted,
perennial with a basal rosette of lobed or toothed, the lobes similar to those on a stag deer’s antlers. Leaves are generally hairy but can occasionally be hairless. Flowers in a narrow and dense cylindrical spike from 2-12 cm long at the end of a hairy stalk. Flowers mainly during spring and summer but can flower throughout the year.


Survives in many soil types from sandy through to loams and clays. Can tolerate waterlogging for part of the year.

RegionSalinity ClassWaterlogging Class
Central and Northern, WimmeraS0, S1, S2W0, W1, W2, W3
Western, GippslandS0, S1, S2, S3, *S4W0, W1, W2, W3
*leaves are generally red at this salt class


Generally found in more settled areas but can colonise disturbed areas, especially where there is higher rainfall. Grows in the cooler months and often dies off in the summer.
Browsed by livestock. In the areas of heavy grazing it may form tiny plants. This species is a good indicator of saline soils. In soils of low salinity it exhibits a dull, grey-green colouration compared to its normal colouration in non-saline soils. In highly saline soils it has a red colour.

There are two subspecies of Buck’s Horn Plantain. Plantago coronopus subsp. coronopus has flower spikes which are much longer than its leaves and tends to occur in more coastal regions. Plantago coronopus subsp. commutata from more inland areas has flower spikes which are shorter than its leaves. Another similar and widespread species is the Australian native, Variable Plantain (Plantago varia) which differs from Buck’s Horn Plantain by having distinctive parallel veins on its leaves. Variable Plantain is not normally found growing in saline conditions.

Buck's Horn Plantain Photos
Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain
Buck's Horn Plantain
Photo: R Clark
Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain flower
Buck's Horn Plantain flower
Photo: A J Brown

Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain - plant
Buck's Horn Plantain - plant showing early effects of salinity
Photo: A J Brown

Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain flower spike
Buck's Horn Plantain - flowers
Photo: A J Brown

Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain under saline conditions
Buck's Horn Plantain under saline conditions
Photo: A J Brown

Photo:  Buck's Horn Plaintain leaf flower
Buck's Horn Plaintain leaf and flower
Photo: R Clark

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