The leaves of the common plantain are parallel-veined, soft, and green in color. The seeds are green or brown and are small and closely packed towards the top of a single stem. The base of the leaf is sometimes pink in color.
The common plantain is an introduced weed that can be found all over the countryside as well as growing up between cracks in the sidewalk. It is a good source of vitamins A and C.
In the Bush
As a Fresh Vegetable: Pick the young leaves, clean, and discard any brown parts. Make a weak syrup out of sap from a maple or birch. Dip the leaves in the solution and eat.
As Cooked Vegetable: The young tender leaves should be plucked, stripped of any bad parts, and washed in salt water for 4 to 5 minutes. Use sugar instead of salt when cooking, or add some wild honey to the leaves when they are almost boiled.
As a Salad: Cut the cleaned leaves into small pieces and mix with other fresh vegetables. Pour a solution of birch sap or maple sugar sap over the greens and eat raw.
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