General Description: Houndstongue is a biennial or short-lived perennial that grows 1 to 4 feet tall. The taproot is thick, woody, black and branching. All parts are covered with hairs.
Flower Description: Flower clusters in upper leaf axils and at stem ends. Flowers are a dull reddish-purple to burgundy and 3/8 inch wide. They have 5 lobes.
Leaf Description: Leaves are alternate, hairy, rough and lacking teeth or lobes. Lower leaves are narrow, 4 to 12 inches long and about 1 to 2 inches wide and have petioles (leaf stalks). Upper leaves are similar and without petioles (attach directly to the stem).
Stem Description: Stems are upright and branching at the ends. They are hairy and coarse.
Fruit/Seed Description: Flowers form 4 nutlets, with each nutlet containing one seed. Nutlet surface is covered with barbed hooks that allow itself to be attached to animals and people for dispersal.
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