Plant Assessment Form

Cynoglossum officinale

Common Names: common houndstongue; beggar's-lice; dog bur; dog's tongue; glovewort; gypsyflower; sheelice; sticktight; woolmat

Evaluated on: 2/3/05

List committee review date: 08/07/2005

Re-evaluation date:


Elizabeth Brusati, project manager
California Invasive Plant Council
1442-A Walnut St. #462, Berkeley, CA 94709
Joseph DiTomaso
University of California-Davis
Dept. Plant Sci., Mail Stop 4, Davis, CA 95616

List committee members

Carla Bossard
John Randall
Carri Pirosko
Dan Gluesenkamp
Gina Skurka
Brianna Richardson

General Comments

No general comments for this species

Table 2. Criteria, Section, and Overall Scores

Overall Score? Moderate
Alert Status? No Alert
Documentation? 3 out of 5
Score Documentation
1.1 ?Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes U. Unknown Reviewed Scientific Publication
Four-part score UBBU Total Score
1.2 ?Impact on plant community B. Moderate Other Published Material
1.3 ?Impact on higher trophic levels B. Moderate Reviewed Scientific Publication
1.4 ?Impact on genetic integrity U. Unknown
2.1 ?Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance in establishment B. Moderate Other Published Material
Total Points
15 Total Score B
2.2 ?Local rate of spread with no management B. Increases less rapidly Observational
2.3 ?Recent trend in total area infested within state A. Increasing rapidly Observational
2.4 ?Innate reproductive potential
(see Worksheet A)
B. Moderate Other Published Material
2.5 ?Potential for human-caused dispersal A. High Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.6 ? Potential for natural long-distance dispersal B. Occasional Reviewed Scientific Publication
2.7 ?Other regions invaded C. Already invaded Other Published Material
3.1 ?Ecological amplitude/Range
(see Worksheet C)
A. Widespread Other Published Material
Total Score B
3.2 ?Distribution/Peak frequency
(see Worksheet C)
C. Low Observational

Table 3. Documentation

Scores are explained in the "Criteria for Categorizing Invasive Non-Native Plants that Threaten Wildlands".

Section 1: Impact
Question 1.1 Impact on abiotic ecosystem processes? U Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify ecosystem processes impacted:

no information

Sources of information:

Question 1.2 Impact on plant community composition,
structure, and interactions?
B Other Published Material
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Forms dense stands. Allelopathic. Extracts of hound's-tongue inhibited seed germination and root elongation of wheatgrass (1).

Sources of information:

1. Li, S., Q. Dai, M. K. Upadhaya, and B. Adomas. 2002. Influence of hound's-tongue and spotted knapweed leaf leachates on seed germination and seedling growth of crested wheatgrass. Weed Science Society of America abstracts. 42:23

Question 1.3 Impact on higher trophic levels? B Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify type of impact or alteration:

Contains toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, heliosupine, and acetylheliosupine (1). All animals are susceptible, including wildlife. Poisoning usually occurs when dry plants are mixed with hay and fed to cattle, causing diarrhoea, and nervous problems. No information on impacts on wildlife (1).

Sources of information:

Upadhyaya, M. K., H. R. Tilsner, and M. D. Pitt. 1988. The biology of Canadian weeds. 87. Cynoglossum officinale L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 68:763-774

Question 1.4 Impact on genetic integrity? U

No information on hybridization but there are two native Cynoglossum in California and native C. occidentale overlaps with C. officinale.

Sources of information:

Section 2: Invasiveness
Question 2.1 Role of anthropogenic and natural disturbance
in establishment?
B Observational
Describe role of disturbance:

Inhabits disturbed places. See question 3.1

Sources of information:

DiTomaso and Healy in prep.

Question 2.2 Local rate of spread with no management? B Observational
Describe rate of spread:

Can spread fairly rapidly in forested areas of Northern California.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Question 2.3 Recent trend in total area infested within state? A Observational
Describe trend:

Appears to be spreading in past 10 years, particularly in the northeastern portion of the state.

Sources of information:

Joe DiTomaso, UC Davis, observational
Carri Pirosko, California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, pers.obs. .

Question 2.4 Innate reproductive potential? B Other Published Material
Describe key reproductive characteristics:

Biennial or short-lived perennial. Flowers in second or third year. Forms a rosette. Reproduces by seed only. Seed production is by autogamy and no outcrossing has been reported Estimates of seed production range from 50 to >2000/plant. Does not produce a large, persistent bank of buried seeds (1, 2). In England, could produce 2400 seeds/plant (2).

Sources of information:

1. Upadhyaya et al. 1988
2. Boorman, L. A., and R. M. Fuller. 1984. The comparative ecology of two sand dune biennials: Lactuca virosa L. and Cynoglossum officinale L. New Phytologist. 69:609-629

Question 2.5 Potential for human-caused dispersal? A Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Cattle can disperse seeds on rangelands (1). More burrs were lost from plants in grazed pastures than ungrazed. There was a postive, linear relationship between the number of burrs on a cow's face and the burr stalks/ha in a paddock (1).

Sources of information:

1. DeClerck-Floate, R. 1997. Cattle as dispersers of hound's-tongue on rangeland in southeastern British Columbia. Journal of Range Management. 50:239-243.
Carri Pirosko, California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, pers.obs.

Question 2.6 Potential for natural long-distance dispersal? B Reviewed Scientific Publication
Identify dispersal mechanisms:

Can disperse slowly over time by attaching to animal wool, hair, and fur. Specific gravity of seeds may be too high for them to float in water for long periods, so dispersal by water is unlikely (1).

Sources of information:

1. Upadhyaya et al. 1988

Question 2.7 Other regions invaded? C Other Published Material
Identify other regions:

Native to Eurasia. Present in most contiguous U.S. states except some southern states (1). In Yellowstone National Park, was associated with closed canopies, suggesting it prefers or at least tolerates shade (2). Occurs in all provinces of Canada. In British Columbia, occurs in Interior Douglas Fir, and ponderosa pine-bunchgrass zones (2).

Sources of information:

1. DiTomaso and Healy in prep
2. Upadhyaya et al. 1988

Section 3: Distribution
Question 3.1 Ecological amplitude/Range? A Other Published Material

Inhabits open disturbed, often moist places, roadsides, fields, pastures, rangeland, open woodland, forests, sand dunes, waste places, abandoned cropland, ditch and canal banks. Often grows on bare soil that is sandy or gravelly. Present in Cascade Range, mostly 800-1525m, possibly higher (1). USDA database lists it in Shasta and Plumas counties (2). 1. DiTomaso, J. and E. Healy. Weeds of California and Other Western States. in prep.
2. USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Sources of information:

Question 3.2 Distribution/Peak frequency? C Observational
Describe distribution:

Not common at this time, but is expanding range.

Sources of information:

DiTomaso, observational.

Worksheet A - Innate reproductive potential

Reaches reproductive maturity in 2 years or less Yes
Dense infestations produce >1,000 viable seed per square meter No
Populations of this species produce seeds every year. Yes
Seed production sustained over 3 or more months within a population annually No
Seeds remain viable in soil for three or more years Yes
Viable seed produced with both self-pollination and cross-pollination No
Has quickly spreading vegetative structures (rhizomes, roots, etc.) that may root at nodes No
Fragments easily and fragments can become established elsewhere No
Resprouts readily when cut, grazed, or burned No
Total points: 4
Total unknowns: 0
Total score: B?

Related traits:

Worksheet B - Arizona Ecological Types is not included here

Worksheet C - California Ecological Types

(sensu Holland 1986)
Major Ecological Types Minor Ecological Types Code?
Marine Systemsmarine systems
Freshwater and Estuarine lakes, ponds, reservoirs
Aquatic Systemsrivers, streams, canals
Scrub and Chaparralcoastal bluff scrub
coastal scrub
Sonoran desert scrub
Mojavean desert scrub (incl. Joshua tree woodland)
Great Basin scrubD, < 5%
chenopod scrub
montane dwarf scrub
Upper Sonoran subshrub scrub
Grasslands, Vernal Pools, Meadows, and other Herb Communitiescoastal prairie
valley and foothill grasslandD, < 5%
Great Basin grasslandD, < 5%
vernal pool
meadow and seep
alkali playa
pebble plain
Bog and Marshbog and fen
marsh and swamp
Riparian and Bottomland habitatriparian forest
riparian woodland
riparian scrub (incl.desert washes)
Woodlandcismontane woodland
piñon and juniper woodland
Sonoran thorn woodland
Forestbroadleaved upland forest
North Coast coniferous forestD, < 5%
closed cone coniferous forestD, < 5%
lower montane coniferous forestD, < 5%
upper montane coniferous forestD, < 5%
subalpine coniferous forest
Alpine Habitatsalpine boulder and rock field
alpine dwarf scrub
Amplitude (breadth): A
Distribution (highest score): D

Infested Jepson Regions

Click here for a map of Jepson regions

  • Cascade Range
  • Northwest
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Modoc Plateau