Plantago lanceolata is a perennial herb, with
slightly toothed leaves 10-15cm long, usually lanceolate
forming basal rosettes. The flower stem can reach
up to 45cm in length, the stem being covered in long
silky hairs (Clapham, et al. 1987), and can be deeply
furrowed (Rose, 1981). The flowers are brown, in short
spikes on furrowed stalks, with pale yellow anthers.
It is a very variable plant which has been divided
into numerous varieties and sub-species (Sagar & Harper
1964) on the grounds of hairiness of the leaves, habit
and other features. It adapts its habit to environmental
factors, being erect in tall vegetation but prostrate
under grazing pressure. It can spread vegetatively
and so often appears in dense patches.