Plantago coronopus, the buck's-horn plantain,[2] is a herbaceous annual to perennial flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae. Other common names in the US and Italy include minutina and erba stella.[3]

Plantago coronopus
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Plantago
P. coronopus
Binomial name
Plantago coronopus
  • Arnoglossum subulatum Gray
  • Asterogeum laciniatum Gray
  • Coronopus vulgaris Fourr.



Plantago coronopus produces a basal rosette of narrowly lance-shaped leaves up to 25 centimeters long that are toothed or deeply divided. The inflorescences grow erect to about 4 to 7 cm in height. They have dense spikes of flowers which sometimes curve. Each flower has four whitish lobes each measuring about a millimeter long. Plantago coronopus mainly grows on sandy or gravelly soils close to the sea, but also on salt-treated roadsides.[4] It is native to Eurasia and North Africa but it can be found elsewhere, including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand as an introduced species.

It is grown as a leaf vegetable known as erba stella,[3] mostly incorporated in salad mixes for specialty markets. Recently it has become popular as a frost-hardy winter crop for farmers in northern climates, and is usually grown in unheated hightunnels.


  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 4 March 2016
  2. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ a b Coleman, E. (1999), Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long (second ed.), Chelsea Green Publishing, ISBN 978-1890132279
  4. ^ "Online atlas of the British and Irish flora: Plantago coronopus". Biological Records Centre and Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 5 June 2019.