Ox-Tongue: From the Plant and Flower Alphabet


Ox-Tongue (Gasteria)

Helminthotheca echioides, known as bristly (or prickly) oxtongue, is a sprawling annual or biennial herb native to Europe and North Africa. It was originally placed within the genus Picris but is often separated within the small genus Helminthotheca alongside a few other (mainly North African) plants.

Bristly oxtongue is an annual to biennial herb with an erect or sprawling habit that grows up to 90 cm (35 in) tall (often up to 150 cm in fertile soils and shady places),[1] with a solid, furrowed stem and spreading branches. The basal rosette leaves are 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long, oblanceolate with a short petiole, whereas the cauline leaves are lanceolate and sessile with clasping, cordate bases.

Ox-Tongue from the Granite Bay Graphic Design Plant and Flower Alphabet

Engravings from “Handbook of Plant and Floral Ornament from Early Herbals” by Richard G. Hatton (Originally published in 1909).
Plant descriptions primarily from Wikipedia.