Invasive Plant

Hound’s Tongue

Cynoglossum officinale
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Warning

Hound’s tongue is toxic to cattle, deer, pigs, horses, and goats.

About This Species

Hound’s tongue grows on dry, well-drained sites. Each plant can produce 2,000 – 4,000 barbed seeds per year that cling to clothing, livestock, and wildlife. It is considered a noxious weed throughout the province.

How to Identify

One year old Hound’s tongue plants form a rosette with flopping leaves that resemble the shape of a dog’s tongue. In the second year, mature plants develop rough, hairy, wide leaves and red flowers with five petals each. Each flower produces four rounded-triangular seeds covered with hooked prickles.

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Take Action

Preventing flowering and removing seeds from clothing and pets in place where the seeds are found is the best way to prevent this plant’s spread. Hand-pull plants and/or remove flowering stems before seeds appear.

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