The hoary plantain is native to central and western Europe and grows in grassy meadows, primarily where the soil is either chalk or limestone based, but it can also be found in clay soils. It is a fairly hardy plant and therefore provides a sturdy base for any wildflower meadow.
The ribbed leaves are covered in fine hairs and form a rosette at the base of the plant and the flower stem grows from this. The stem itself is long, between 5 and 50 cm, fine and grey in colour since it is covered by a light down. The flowers themselves are a pale green and while the long stamens are a pinkish-purple colour and pollination occurs mainly through insects.