Weed workshop to focus on houndstongue

BISMARCK – A free workshop to help weed control officials and landowners identify and control houndstongue is scheduled for Friday, June 29, in Washburn.

“Houndstongue is an increasingly serious problem in North Dakota,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “Early detection and control are essential to slowing the spread of this invasive weed.”

The workshop starts at 11 a.m., at the Western 4H Camp, located 1½ miles west of Washburn between the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan.

Speakers include Nick Klein from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and Garrett Krueger, a McLean County Weed Board member. An optional field tour will follow the workshop.

Native to Eurasia, houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) is a biennial herb reaching four feet in height. First found in North Dakota a century ago and long confined to a few eastern counties, it has spread widely in the last 20 years, especially in the southwest part of the state.

Houndstongue contains toxic alkaloids that can cause severe, irreversible and sometimes fatal liver damage in cattle and horses. It grows on roadsides, rangeland, cropland, pastures and woodlands where the soil has been disturbed or overgrazed.