Hoary Plantain

Plantago media

This will be a familiar plant to many of you, and it is not a rare species, but it often indicates old or undisturbed pastures.  It is found on limestone grassland and its most common habitat these days is churchyards.  It is not to be confused with Greater Plantain, whose leaves are similarly wide (but which have a stalked stem).  Hoary Plantain leaves are generally softly hairy and rather grey-green and have long silky hairs in the rosette centre and the flowering head has an attractive fringe of pink anthers on long stalks (which Greater Plantain does not have).

The distribution of this plant in Somerset is shown below (updated March 2021).

Distribution of Plantago media in Somerset, mapped using MapMate.
Black dots are 2000- records; red squares are 1987-1999 records; sepia squares are pre-1987 records