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Houndstongue

Cynoglossum officinale

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Boraginales
Family:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Farmland, grassland, hedgerows, sand dunes, seaside, wasteland, wetland, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Variable in colour, 5 petals
 
Usually maroon flowers but also can be blue, purplish-pink or white. The flowers measure between 6 and 10mm across. The flowers look similar in appearance to Forget-me-not flowers. Pollinated by insects.
Fruit:
a flattened nutlet with a thickened flange. The fruit are covered in short hooked bristles which cling to clothing very easily. The seeds ripen in August and September.
Leaves:
An annual or biennial flower with simple, broad lanceolate, greyish-green leaves. Covered in soft hairs.
Aroma:
Smells unpleasant. The alternative name of Rats and Mice is sometimes given to Houndstongue because of it's disagreeable fragrance.
Other Names:
Beggar's Lice, Common Dog's Tongue, Common Hound's Tongue, Dog Bur, Dog's Tongue, Gypsy Flower, Hound's-tongue, Houndstooth, Rats and Mice, Rose Noble, Sheep Lice, Tory Weed, Wood Mat.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map