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.