Boraginaceae (Borage family)
Class B-Designate Noxious Weed
Houndstongue, a member of the borage family, is a Class B-Designate Noxious Weed. It likely arrived from Europe as a contaminant of cereal seed. It is a biennial (two year life cycle) with a thick woody taproot. Houndstongue leaves are hairy and rough, feeling and appearing like a dog's tongue.
Houndstongue tolerates shade and grows well in wet areas. In its first year of growth, houndstongue produces a large leafy rosette. The second year it produces flowering stalks and fruit. Flowers are reddish purple and become seed nutlets, which are covered in tiny, Velcro-like barbs that stick easily to fur and clothing. This is the primary way houndstongue spreads.
Houndstongue is a strong competitor of desirable forage and commonly invades pastures, roadsides and disturbed areas. It is a toxic plant with the potential to poison domestic animals and wildlife.
Download our printable PDF with more information about houndstongue and best management practices for controlling it.
Houndstongue commonly invades pastures.
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