Pink, Rose, Red, or Purple Flowered Forbs

Pink, Rose, Red & Purple Flowered Forbs
Black henbane
Blue Mustard
Bull thistle
Canada thistle
Common burdock
Diffuse knapweed
Iberian knapweed
Meadow knapweed
Musk thistle
Purple loosestrife
Purple starthistle
Red clover
Redstem filaree
Russian knapweed
Scotch thistle
Spiny plumeless thistle
Spotted knapweed
Squarrose knapweed
Tall morning-glory


Cynoglossum officinale L. (Borage family, Boraginaceae)


Erect, coarse, 1 to 2 stemmed, biennial or short-lived perennial forb, 1 to 4 feet tall, with a thick, black, woody taproot; it forms a rosette in the first year and usually flowers in the second year; the leaves resemble a hound’s tonge.

Leaves: Basal and lower cauline leaves are petiolate, elliptic to oblanceolate, 5-7/8 to 7-7/8 inches long and 3/4 to 2 inches wide, tapering at the base; upper leaves are alternate, numerous, gradually reduced upward, acute to obtuse, and sessile or clasping, lacking teeth or lobes; all leaves are rough and hairy on both surfaces.
Flowers: Flowers May to August; flowers are many on several long, 1-sided branches from the upper leaf axils; mature flowers stalks are curved, spreading; flowers are dull reddish-purple, broadly bell-shaped (5 petals fussed), about 3/8 inch wide and terminal.

Fruit: Fruit consists of 1 to 4 nutlets, 3/16 to 1/4 inch long, rounded-triangular, dorsally flattened, and covered with short, barbed prickles; nutlets remain closed at maturity, the seeds remain encased; seeds are brown or grayish brown.


Cultivated and disturbed or degraded sites in grassland, woodland, forest, and riparian communities, and roadsides; it is most abundant in areas with more than 10 percent bare ground within elevations that generally range from 4,900 to 9,800 feet.


Reproduces by seed; estimates of total seed produced per plant range from 50 to more than 2,000; the barbed nutlet facilitates dispersal by animals.


Native to Europe; hounds-tongue colonizes easily, and quickly forms dense monocultures on disturbed habitats; hounds-tongue contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids and is toxic to horses and cattle. This species generally occurs as a weed in wildland areas of the Southwestern Region rather than as an invasive plant.

Collage of 4 images of Hounds-tongue


Forest Service Shield
Invasive plants and weeds of the national forests and grasslands in the southwestern region
Hounds-tongue flower and fruit Hounds-tongue plant in bloom Hounds-tongue flowers Hounds-tongue taproot