Bracted Plantain weeds feature basal leaves forming from a main taproot. Their leaves have soft hairs or can be smooth and linear, tapering at the base. The hairy, leafless stalks form densely packed flower spikes featuring flowers growing in numerous linear bracts, extending outward from each flower spike. These large bracts are the plant's most identifiable feature, hence the name Bracted Plantain. Reproduction of this broadleaf weed occurs by seeds.
This broadleaf weed prefers sandy, disturbed habitats and commonly grows in glades, pastures, waste areas, residential lawns, and along roadsides and railroads. Bracted Plantain thrives throughout much of North America, with the exception of a few areas in western United States and Canada.
Plantago aristata can be difficult to manage when relying on cultural broadleaf weed control methods alone. This is due to the fact that the seeds are easily disrupted and can spread during physical removal and mowing.