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Blue Hound's Tongue

Cynoglossum creticum  Miller  (Fam: BORAGINACEAE.)

Published date of profile: Nov-2006.
Citation: Mifsud S., (Nov-2006) Cynoglossum creticum on MaltaWildPlants.com

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Nomenclature

Species name :

Cynoglossum creticum  Miller

Author(s) :

Philip Miller, England, 1691-1771

Principal synonym :

Cynoglossum pictum, Cynoglossum atlanticum, Cynoglossum siculum

Plant Family :

Boraginaceae  Juss.
(Borage Family)

General name(s) :

Blue Hound's Tongue

Maltese name(s) :

Ilsien il-Kelb

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Originating from the Maltese islands

Remarks :

-


Plant description and characters

Life Cycle:

Biennial.

Growth Form:

HEMICRYPTOPHYTE (Creeping plants)

Habitat:

Disturbed areas and wasteland especially near arable areas. Also commonly found in dry areas besides valleys.

Frequency:

Frequent

Localities in Malta:

Locally frequent. Examples include Wied Babu, Wied Encita, Wied Qirda and Buskett. Also reported from Gozo (Mgarr, Ta' Cenc, Xlendi).

Plant Height:

40-70cm.

Flowering Period:

Feb - May

Protection in Malta:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List 1989:

Not listed in the Flora section of the National Red Data Book (Lanfranco, 1989)

Poison:

Data not available


Images (11 images)
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-0.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-1.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-2.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-3.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-4.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-5.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-6.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-7.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-8.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-9.
   Cynoglossum creticum   -   Image Code: CYGCR-10.

Links & Further info

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Wikipedia

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GBIF

Med Checklist

Cat. of Life

EoL

IPNI

The Plant List

NYBG

Vienna Virt. Hb.

RBGE

KEW

MNHN

Arkive


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Wild Plants of Malta & Gozo - Plant: Cynoglossum creticum (Blue Hound's Tongue)

Blue Hound's Tongue

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Nomenclature

Species name:

Cynoglossum creticum   Mill.

Author(s):

Philip Miller
   England, 1691-1771

Common name:

Blue Hound's Tongue

Maltese name:

Ilsien il-Kelb

Plant Family:

Boraginaceae   (Borage Family)

Name Derivation:

Cynoglossum = Greek for "dog's tongue" from kynos, "dog," and glossa, "a tongue" (Greek);
creticum = Related to Crete, eg: first described from Crete or of Cretan origin (Latin).

Synonyms:

Cynoglossum pictum, Cynoglossum atlanticum, Cynoglossum siculum


Plant Description

Life Cycle:

Biennial

Habitat:

Disturbed areas and wasteland especially near arable areas. Also commonly found in dry areas beside valleys.

Source in Malta:

Uncommon or locally frequent. Examples include Wied Babu, Wied Incita, Wied Qirda and Buskett. Also reported from Gozo (Mgarr, Ta' Cenc and Xlendi).

Plant Height:

40-70cm

Flowering Time:

Feb-May

A herbaceous, medium-tall, multi-flowering plant that usually has a 2-years life time. Stems are green, erect, moderately branched (mostly at flowering part) and covered by stiff, bristly hairs.

The soft and hairy leaves are oblong to lance-shaped with an entire, untoothed margin. Tip is rounded whereas the base is amplexicual, that is, clasping the stem. Basal leaves can lack the stem clasping feature and instead have a short petiole (=subsessile). Most of the leaves are found pointing up except the basal ones which tend to arc down. Another foliar feature is that most of the lamina is wavy. Pinnate venation is well visible in the dark green leaves which can grow up to 20cm long by 3cm wide.

The glabrous flowers lack bracts and are born in long scorpoid racemes (tips are coiled as a scorpion tail). The calyx is composed of 5 oblong and hairy sepals, actinomorphic and 6-8mm long. The corolla consists of what looks like to be 5 rounded petals that are fused at their base. Actually these are external lobes of a funnel-shaped, single corolla tube. Flowers are initially purple-red in buds and when just blossomed and they rapidly change into bluish colour after they open up. For this reason one may see purple and blue flowers on the same flower raceme. What makes the corolla attractive is the deep colour of the net-like veins running along the paler colours of the corolla, which finely branch at the tips of the corolla lobes. The corolla is further decorated by 5 rounded, elevated, deep purple, fluffy structures encircling the central mouth of the tube; these are neither stamen nor stigmas.

The reproductive organs are actually small and non showy. Female part consists of a gynobasic ovary situated and mostly hidden at the base of the calyx with a small inconspicuous stigma. The stamens are inserted (joined at) the lower part of the corolla tube and also not much visible externally.

Each flower gives rise to a set of 4 nutlets found well exposed in each calyx. The nutlets are initially green and when fully mature they grow up to 6-7mm wide and becomes brown in colour. They have the shape of flattened pillows but covered with numerous thick, stout, barbed bristles (known as glochidiates). The nutlets (or seeds) of this plant are notorious for sticking to clothes and socks while walking in the countryside, a successful 'animal' seed-dispersion method thanks to the sticky glochidiates.


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