Information on Sea Plantain

Common Name: Sea Plantain
Scientific Name: Plantago maritima
Irish Name: Slánlus mara
Family Group: Plantaginaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Sea Plantain is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


This little plant is one which tolerates sea spray and being immersed in salt water on occasions. Found on sea-shores and salt-marshes, it also grows on lake shores and mountains inland.  The basal rosette common to all plantains is comprised of semi-erect linear, fleshy, faintly veined leaves which surround slender spikes of flowers.  These flowers (3mm across) have a pale browny-pink corolla with yellow anthers and are in spikes 4-10 cm long.  They bloom from June to August.  This is a native plant belonging to the family Plantaginaceae.    

My first record of this plant is from 1977 in Killiney, Co Dublin.  The photographs were taken at Tacumshin in Co Wexford  in 2008. 

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

Plantain, Sea
Plantain, Sea

Also known in other regions as 'Goose Tongue', this plant was cultivated for fodder in areas of Great Britain.