There are a lot of Hound’s Tongue growing on Black Canyon Trail and Cub Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as at Lake Estes.
It is a very interesting looking wildflower…along with its distinctive name.
Hounds Tongue is a biennial that grows to about 3 feet tall. Its stems are fleshy, leafy and hairy. Its flowers are a rose to purple and grow in clumps from the stem. They seem to get so heavy that they droop from the stem. These flowers turn into nutlets and are covered with short barbed prickles.
It is interesting to note that teas have been made from the roots and leaves to treat coughs, colds and upset stomachs. However, these plants can cause some skin irritations.
The rough surface of the nutlets was thought to resemble the surface of a dog’s tongue, hence the name “hound’s-tongue.”
Have you ever seen a Hound’s Tongue wildflower?