Well they look black to me. It is really the bracts that are black, When the flowers open they will be brown with cream edges.Ribwort Plantain is one of the most common components of natural grassland and it is a valuable and nutritious food for grazing stock, this has led it to be considered an honorary grass by farmers and earned it the name Ribgrass but it is not a grass.
Ribwort Plantain is a wild flower from the family Plantaginaceae. The same family as the very pretty little speedwells.
(Common Field Speedwell)The flower head is made up of numerous little flowers, each covered by a single bract. Each flower has four petals, Cream coloured with a brown centre. It has a single pistil and four stamens which end in creamy white anthers and give the open flower it’s characteristic appearance.
(Having said that I have just been reading that “Young leaves have a wonderful mushroom flavour” maybe I will give it another go)