A perennial herb, the greater plantain’s leaves are rosette-forming and broad. The tiny flowers are grouped in long dense dark flower heads. The flower stems are up to 50 centimetres high. The lowest flowers open first and rings of purplish stamens gradually move up the flower head. Flowers appear between May and October.
The greater plantain grows in open landscapes and as it is resistant to trampling, it is often seen on paths, drives and pavements. It is common throughout Europe.