Information on Buck's-horn Plantain

Common Name: Buck's-horn Plantain
Scientific Name: Plantago coronopus
Irish Name: Adharca fia
Family Group: Plantaginaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Buck's-horn Plantain is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This is an attractive little plant which grows mostly at coastal locations around Ireland.  Its distinctive feature is the spreading, basal rosette of pinnately-lobed, toothed leaves.  From the centre of this dense rosette, slender spikes of tiny 4-petalled flowers grow, with prominent browny-yellow stamens, each spike being about 3-5cm long.  The flowers bloom from May to October on unfurrowed stalks.  This is a native plant which belongs to the family Plantaginaceae.     

I first recorded this plant in 1980 at Crohy Head, Co Donegal and I photographed at Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford in 2004. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Plantain, Buck's-horn
Plantain, Buck's-horn

This wildflower gets its name from the shape of the individual leaves which are said to resemble a buck's horn.  It was used as a medicinal plant for treatment of fevers and the leaves are said to be a tasty addition to salads if they are plucked before the plant flowers.