Helminthotheca echioides

Helminthotheca echioides_bristly oxtongue_JK Clark_cropped
Photo: JK Clark

Synonyms: Picris echioides; Helminthia echioides

Common names: bristly ox-tongue; bugloss; bugloss-picris

Helminthotheca echioides (bristly oxtongue) is a winter or summer annual, or occasionally a biennial (family Asteraceae) that is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. It has been introduced into many parts of the world, including other parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, South America, and South Africa. In the United State, it is most common in California, where it is found especially along the coast and in the Central Valley and on clay and alkaline soils. Bristly oxtongue has a sprawling habit and leaves with thick, often hooked hairs with swollen bases, given leaves a warty appearance. Flower heads are subtended by four bristly bracts; flower color is yellow.  This plant is most commonly found in agricultural and disturbed sites, where it can outcompete other vegetation.

Cal-IPC Rating: Limited?

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Helminthotheca echioides Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Helminthotheca echioides_achenes_copyright 2007_NealKramer
    Helminthotheca echioides (bristly ox-tongue) achenes. Photo: &#169 2007 Neal Kramer
    Helminthotheca echioides_flower head (side view)_copyright 2007_NealKramer
    Helminthotheca echioides (bristly ox-tongue) flower head (side view). Photo: &#169 2007 Neal Kramer
    Helminthotheca echioides_leaves (rosette)_copyright 2007_NealKramer
    Helminthotheca echioides (bristly ox-tongue) leaves (rosette). Photo: &#169 2007 Neal Kramer
    Helminthotheca echioides_flower heads_RonVanderhoff
    Helminthotheca echioides (bristly ox-tongue) flower heads. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff