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Hound's Tongue Cynoglossum grande


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Hound's Tongue - flower close-up
credit: Calibas

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Alternate name: Pacific Hound's Tongue

Family: Boraginaceae, Borage view all from this family

Description Common in open woodlands, this plant bears loose clusters of showy purple or blue flowers above large leafy clumps.
Habit: native perennial herb; one to several smooth erect stem(s); taproot.
Height: 1-3 ft (30-90 cm)
Leaf: mostly at base, large, lanceolate to oval, pointed, long-stalked, 3-16 in (7.5-40 cm) long, 1-4 in (2.5-10 cm) wide; becoming fewer, smaller above.
Flower: 5 bright blue to violet lobes around raised white center; 1-1.5 cm) wide; held in loose terminal cluster.
Fruit: hard, slightly bristly, divided into 1-4 oval nutlets; 1/4 in (6 mm) long.

Flower March to June.

Habitat Dry shaded places; woodlands, chapparal; low to moderate elevations.

Range Native to western North America from British Columbia to Western Washington to southern California.

Discussion Also known as Pacific hound's tongue, western hound's tongue. The common name refers to the shape of the broad leaves. Native Americans used preparations from the root to treat burns and stomachaches. There are several species in genus Cynoglossum, all with blue to purple or maroon flowers and large rough nutlets that stick to clothing.