March 2021 – Guess That Plant
This is the FNJP’s 120th edition of Guess that Plant!
The March Guess that Plant 2021 photo is probably a familiar spring view for our Highlands and Piedmont participants. Clue: its a sedge. Do you know this species by leaves and fruiting stalks? If so, send your answer for this month’s Guess that Plant.
Plantago lanceolata L., Narrow leaf, Lance leaf, or English Plantain
The February Guess that Plant was the introduced weedy herb, lance leaf or English plantain. This plant is found Statewide as an annual or weak perennial. It grows on roadsides, lawns, and any open dry area. Many botanists are familiar with the plant from our childhood, when the stem would be wrapped around the flowering head and pulled to “shoot.” An amazing little trick that provides a favorable memory for this little herb.
Plantago lanceolata is one of ten species listed by Mary Hough (1983). None of our other upland plantains have the long, ribbed leaves, accompanied by the long flowering scape topped by a dense spike. Fernald (1950) lists it as a troublesome weed that flowers from May to October.