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Houndstongue – Cynoglossum officinale

Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) is sometimes more commonly known by the following names –¬†houndstooth, dog’s tongue, gypsy flower, and rats and mice.

Houndstongue only has a 2 year life cycle and grows to a maximum of 3ft in height. In its first year, the rosette of leaves is the only visible part of the plant. These are tongue shapped leaves that alternate up the stem and can reach a lenght of 12 inches.
The leaves have a hairy, rough texture which feels like that of a dog’s tongue and this is how the plant recieved its name.

The pods that hold the seeds are as distinctive as the leaves itself, the pods are 1/3 inch in diameter and covered in barbs, this is what allows the seeds to be distributed to wider areas. This is because the barbs stick to the hairs of passing animals and clothing, it can then drop in any environment but are often found in pastures, road sides and fields.

Height: 30 – 120cm
Flowering Time: May to Aug
Preferred Conditions: Prefers to grow in dry based rich soils and will be most commonly found in pastures, costal dunes, field edges and wasteland.

Houndstongue - Cynoglossum officinale