|Negative ||Joan ||On Mar 15, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:
This plant was just recently declared a noxious weed in our county.
Houndstongue grows in ranges, pastures, and roadsides, and is toxic to horses and cattle. The weed contains alkaloids that may cause liver cells to stop reproducing.
It reproduces by seeds and appears as a leafy rosette in its first year. The stem is erect, stout, heavy, 1-1/2 to 3 feet high, usually branched above. The leaves are alternate, the basal and lower ones are broad, and are oblong to lance-shaped. The upper leaves are narrower and pointed, almost clasping. The flowers are terminal and reddish-purple in color. The fruit consists of four nutlets (seeds), each about 1/3 inch long, with the outer surface covered with short, barbed prickles. Nutlets break apart at maturity and are rapidly scattered by animals. "Notation from the Colorado Weed Management Association"
This plant is listed on the North Dakota invasive/troublesome list and this information is being distributed in a guide developed by the ND Weed Control Association and other agencies.
Biennial, up to 3 feet tall
Seeds, very adhesive due to burr-like surface
Rosettes of first year plant low to the ground
Long narrow leaves hairy, rough, velvety, very pronounced mid-rib
Flowers small, 1/4 inch, dark reddish-purple
Documented in several areas. Shade tolerant, usually associated with brush and trees. Once established, spreads into open areas.
Also referred to as gypsy-flower because seeds spread by attaching to animals
Can be fatal to livestock when ingested. Plants produce a toxin that stops liver cells from reproducing. Death can occur several months after ingestion