| Share
 

plantain

plantain (plănˈtĭn) [key], any plant of the genus Plantago, chiefly annual or perennial weeds of wide distribution. Many species are lawn pests and the pollen is often a hay fever irritant. P. psyllium, called psyllium, or fleawort, is cultivated in Spain and France for its mucilaginous seed-coatings, exported under the name psyllium seed for use as a laxative. In the United States wild plantains are occasionally utilized locally for forage. The name plantain is also used for a starchy form of the banana; the water plantain, Alisma plantago-aquatica, is another unrelated species. Plantains are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Plantaginales, family Plantaginaceae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on plantain from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Plants

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring