by Michael D. Denney, Dylan Botelyr, and Wes Dyer
Identification: Buckhorn Plantain is a rosette-forming perennial herb with leafless, hairy flower stems. The fruit is composed of egg shaped capsules 1/6” long containing either one or two seeds per flower. Leaves are football shaped and stand between three and 10 inches long with short hairs that spiral around the stem. The stalks grow upwards of 2 to 2.5 inches and have a dominant, strong taproot.
Characteristics: Buckhorn Plantain is characterized as being drought tolerant. Typically, the plant reproduces via seed and disseminated through airborne carriers or water. The seeds are oblong shaped and brown with one side having a glossy, light brown stripe.
Habitat: Environmental conditions favoring the growth of Buckhorn Plantain are vineyards, orchards, gardens, urban areas, turf, foot paths, and crop fields in general. Typically, Buckhorn Plantain prefers areas that have been plowed or disturbed in any manner.
Control: Control of Buckhorn Plantain consists of two measures, either pre-emergence or post-emergence herbicides. For pre-emergence control, Isoxaben is a good choice for minimizing germination. Post-emergence control includes 2,4-D, Triclopyr, MCPA, and MCCP. Typically, 2,4-D has good activity on Buckhorn Plantain, while Triclopyr, MCPA and MCCP reduces plant vigor. Buckhorn Plantain can be a difficult weed to control, but combining cultural practices, such as hand pulling, and herbicide use is the best approach for control.