Cynoglossum Officinale


Provincial Noxious. Biennial, or short-lived perennial.
In its first year, hound's-tongue forms a rosette with leaves shaped like a dog's tongue. Mature plants are 0.3 to 1.2 metres tall and have rough, hairy, wide leaves and reddish-purple, five-petal flowers. Each flower produces four rounded-triangular nutlets covered in hooked prickles. Hound's-tongue has a woody taproot.

Hound's-tongue decreases forage on rangeland and pastures. The plant causes liver damage in grazing animals usually through infested hay as standing plants are seldom grazed. The barbed seeds easily cling to the hair, wool, and fur of animals, resulting in reduced sale value, stress on animals, and increased veterinary costs. Although medicinal properties are purported, it is not recommended for human consumption.

In British Columbia, hound's-tongue grows from grasslands to mid-elevation forests. It is found on dry sites on pastures, roadsides, and logged-over forestland, primarily in the southern Interior. It is a major concern in the Kootenay, Okanagan, Thompson, and Cariboo areas.

Each year a mature plant can produce up to 2,000-4,000 seeds. These are spread great distances attached to clothing, livestock, and wildlife.


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