May shading into June is the best time for long country walks in the East of the country. The wildflowers are dazzling and bewildering in their massed numbers. They are waving in the breeze across water meadows, down remote lanes and garlanding heathland leading to an inlet of the sea. This past weekend the Borage family was out in greatest strength. Of this lot, otherwise known as the Boraginaceae, I am picking out a refined cousin.
Welcome to Cynoglossum nervosum, chosen for the silkiness of its name and common name of Hound’s Tongue. The plant itself is rough in texture with hairy lance-shaped leaves. I looked it up in Gerard’s Herbal. He states that it smells like a kennel of hounds. Olfactory senses must have altered over the centuries. Another source gives the news that it was used to combat the ill effects of a dog bite or could be worn in the shoe to ward off dogs.
Information apart, it is true azure and fills the gap left by the forget-me-nots. Definitely too has the dog’s tongue rasp to its texture.