Buckshorn Plantain – Starweed [Plantago coronopus]

Buckshorn Plantain, also known as Starweed and scientifically termed Plantago coronopus, can pose challenges for those seeking a pristine lawn, especially in coastal regions. Its resilience and unique growth patterns necessitate specific management strategies. This article dives deep into understanding the Buckshorn Plantain and presents the top three methods to control its spread.

Understanding Buckshorn Plantain – Starweed

Growth and Appearance: Buckshorn Plantain is characterized by its basal rosette growth pattern, allowing it to endure consistent close mowing. The weed’s fleshy leaves are narrow and lance-shaped. The unique antler-like appearance of the leaves is the reason behind its name.

Flowering Pattern: Between May and October, this weed showcases dense spikes of green-brown flowers. This flowering phase is a crucial time for its control, as it contributes significantly to its propagation.

Habitat Preference: Buckshorn Plantain has a proclivity for sandy to loamy soils that offer good drainage. This preference makes it a prevalent weed in coastal sites.

Effective Control Measures

Managing Buckshorn Plantain requires a combination of proactive and reactive strategies. Here are the top three methods to curtail its growth:

  1. Hand Weeding: Due to its specific growth pattern, hand weeding can be an effective strategy for managing Buckshorn Plantain. The key is to ensure complete removal, especially its root system, to prevent regrowth.
  2. Promote Lawn Health: A robust and healthy lawn can be a natural deterrent against Buckshorn Plantain. Implementing good lawn care practices can ensure dense grass coverage, leaving no room for this weed and others to invade. Regular mowing can curtail the weed’s flowering phase, reducing its chances of propagation.
  3. Chemical Treatment: In scenarios where the infestation is extensive, chemical treatments might be the most effective solution. Opting for a selective weed killer designed to target Buckshorn Plantain is recommended. Typically, a single application should suffice. However, if the first application doesn’t yield the desired results, a second application, scheduled six weeks later, can be effective. Always prioritize safety when using chemical treatments – wear appropriate protective gear, and adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.


Buckshorn Plantain – Starweed, while not as common as its counterparts like greater plantain and ribwort plantain, can still be a nuisance, especially in coastal areas. Early detection, combined with the right control measures, can keep this weed in check. Whether you choose manual weeding, promote lawn health, or resort to chemical treatments, consistency and timely intervention are the keys to a Buckshorn Plantain-free lawn.

John Storm

Oliver Thompson
Lawn Care Expert

About Oliver: Oliver Thompson, a seasoned lawn care expert from the Cotswolds with over two decades of experience, invites all enthusiasts to join him in exploring the world of lawns, sharing knowledge, and fostering a vibrant community of lawn enthusiasts. More info

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