Purplish red, or white.
Flowers: growing in a curved raceme that straightens as the flowers mature. Calyx: five-parted. Corolla: funnel-form; five-lobed. Stamens: five. Pistil: one. Fruit; a nutlet covered with prickles. Leaves; alternate; ovate-lanceolate; the lower ones on petioles; slightly heart-shaped at base; the upper ones sessile; hairy. Stem: two to three feet high; branching; hairy.
As we have found no good for which this plant is responsible, we must, according to Mr. Emerson, call it a weed. It bears the title with dignity, for it is a handsome creature with a beautiful velvety leaf; but how it ever ventures to raise its head in face of the anathemas showered upon it by the farmers and wool-growers is quite a mystery. Its bur-like fruit has the most wicked propensity for attaching itself to the fleece of sheep. Detractors have also likened its odour to that of a nest of mice; but as this is quite a common expression with country people and means about as much as telling the sick they look as pale as a black dog, there may be a little exaggeration in the statement. The resemblance of its leaves to the shape of a hound's tongue is responsible for its name.