Cynoglossum officinale Houndstongue

The petals of houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) are pink to red at first, but as they wither they do not fade but turn dark purple. Some other members of the Boraginaceae family do the same, such as forget-me-nots.

Other common names include houndstooth, dog’s tongue and gypsy flower.

Houndstongue red flowers

Cynoglossum officinale flowers here in central Europe from April to July. The seeds germinate in late summer or autumn. It is a biennial, the first year only a rosette of leaves appears, from which a flowering shoot grows after overwintering.

Cynoglossum officinale in October
Young plant of Cynoglossum officinale in October.

It can be found on roadsides, playgrounds, sports fields, meadows, dams, embankments and rubble heaps. How tall it grows depends on the location. In rich soil it can grow up to a metre high.

Houndstongue growing on a wall
Houndstongue growing on a wall.
Houndstongue by the roadside.
Houndstongue by the roadside.
Houndstongue in a schoolyard
Houndstongue in a schoolyard.

More members of the Boraginaceae family