Houndstongue photo

Houndstongue produces small, attractive flowers that turn into burrs that stick to everything.

To the Editor:

Houndstongue - Dig It Now

Houndstongue (Cynoglossum official) is an invasive, noxious weed in Wallowa County that is just starting to bloom. It is poisonous to wildlife and domestic animals, damaging the animal's liver. It may cause death to grazing animals. Ironically, hounds tongue becomes more palatable after it is sprayed with herbicides, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

For most people the main problem is that houndstongue produces seeds that stick to everything--you, your dog, and wildlife. If you wait till the seeds form, they are as big as your little fingernail with tiny barbs. People call them beggars lice. They are just the right height to get in your dog’s fur and cling to fawns and calves that spread them every where.

Houndstongue grows to about two feet and is the tall broad leaf plant you see now above the grass in the pastures and long the road. The flowers start to bloom a lavender pink and turn blue as they come out. The root is a long tap root so take your shovel, break off the blooms, and dig the weed. If you do not get the root, the weed will grow back with two or three baring stems instead of one. Do dig the houndstongue NOW.

Ingrid Cook

Joseph

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