Rugel’s Plantain Seeds

Asked July 12, 2020, 11:35 PM EDT

Rugel’s plantain has taken over my yard. I haven’t mowed for awhile because it’s been dry so I’m not sure how long the weed has had the seed stalks. I picked every seed stalk in the front and back yard before I mowed because I didn’t want to chop them up and spread it around. It took hours and hours. Eight plastic grocery bags packed full! Now I’m afraid that perhaps I already missed the flowers. I can’t tell if the stalks have already released the seeds or are getting ready to bloom. I hope you can give me good news that I got the seeds and didn’t work my butt off for nothing.

Genesee County Michigan

1 Response

I can't tell for sure if this is Rugel's plantain (Plantago rugelli) or common plantain (Plantago major), but either way these are both perennials that produce small dark seeds (see a photo on this OSU site https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=110). If you rub those flower stalks between your fingers and see black seed then it is mature. It does look like the flower structures have withered, but hopefully you caught it with green immature seed. In that case, you have just save a lot of seed entering your soil and prevented new plants from germinating. Since both of these species are perennials though they will still be back next year if you don't remove the main plants by physical or chemical means.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me directly at hiller12@msu.edu