Hound's Tongue - Cynoglossum offcinale

Description: Hound’s tongue is a biennial or short-lived perennial forb with a woody taproot. This species can grow to 1.2 m tall.

Type: biennial to short-lived perennial

Habitat and Impacts: Hound’s tongue prefers dry disturbed sites at low to medium elevations. Hound’s tongue can establish in open grasslands to forests, particularly in areas with alkaline soils. The barbed seeds of Hounds tongue readily stick to hair and fur, causing stress to animals and reducing hide values. The plant contains alkaloids that are toxic to livestock and can therefore reduce hay and forage quality.

Method of Spread: Hounds tongue reproduces exclusively by seed and plants can produce up to 4000 seeds per plant. Hound’s tongue is a poor seed banking species and buried seeds rarely survive one year. Seeds on the soil surface may survive to three years. Seeds can be widely spread by animals as the hooked spines facilitating attachment to fur, feathers or clothing.

Location: Scattered hounds tongue sites are recorded for south-central areas of the region south of 100 Mile House, at Churn Creek, Dog Creek and Stormy Road. This species may be more widely spread than reported as it may not be recorded by some agencies.

Management Options:

Mechanical: Handpulling and Mowing hound’s tongue prior to seed set can eliminate seed production and often kills the plant.

Chemical: Chemical control of hound’s tongue is effective. Picloram, dicamba, metsulfuron-methyl, or glyphosate are all effective for controlling hound’s tongue.

Biological: One biocontrol agent is currently available and other agents are being studied. The root feeding weevil Mogulones cruciger has proven extremely effective at controlling hound’s-tongue in the southern areas of the Province.

CCCIPC Priority and Treatment Strategy: Priority 1 (new invader) for all areas except the Central Coast where it is ranked as N/A (not ecologically suited to the area). Where hound’s tongue is ranked as a new invader all sites will be treated with the goal of elimination.

Treatment Options:

Local Level - cutting small accessible infestations or chemical treatment.
Landscape Level - biocontrol releases, and chemical treatment on localized areas such as private land.

Richard Old, XID Services, Inc, Bugwood.org

Hound's Tongue plant

Hound's Tongue flowers and seed.

British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range

Mogulones cruciger, root feeling weevil.


Invasive species profile taken from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee Invasive Plant Regional Strategic Plan

Page last modified: October 30, 2018 09:44:02 PDT