Reddish Vale Country Park
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Ribwort Plantain is a native perennial. A very common plant of roadsides, meadows and as a lawn weed throughout Great Britain. Grows to a height of 50cm.
Children play a game with the flower heads, striking one against the other until one falls off and the other is the winner. From this, the flowers are called Soldiers or Fighting Cocks.
Ribwort Plantain is a common perennial weed of arable fields and grassland, widespread throughout the UK on a range of soils. It may behave as a biennial or even an annual but is a true perennial. It has been recorded up to 2600ft in the UK and remains have been found in prehistoric deposits.
Ribwort Plantain is a very variable species and many varieties and sub-species have been described.
The flowers are wind pollinated but insects visit the the flowers to collect pollen. An average plant will produce 2,500 seeds but large ones may have 10,000. On poor soils, however, seed numbers range from 35 to 261 per plant. Some seeds are shed soon after ripening while others remain on the plant until it dies down.