Bristly oxtongue is an annual or biennial weed that is often found on waste areas and rough ground. At times it can be a problem weed in utility lawns and turf. It forms as a basal rosette and can tolerate close mowing, however, if it’s undisturbed it will grow to nearly a metre in height. It spreads by seed and has a deep fleshy tap root, typical of other weeds in this family.
It is the texture of the leaves that gives bristly oxtongue it name. They are long and narrow as they form in a rosette, but the surface is covered in bristly, course pimples, that feel very rough when touched.
The bright yellow flowers are similar to those of cats ear, smooth hawksbeard and autumn hawkbit. The flowering period is between June and September, as they form in clusters on long bristly stems.
It will grow in most places, but is usually found on waste sites and bare ground.
Hand weeding can prove effective, taking care to remove the whole of the plant. When handling this weed is advisable to wear gloves.
Maintain good grass cover and eliminate any weak or bare areas to prevent this week from invading.
A selective herbicide can be used to control bristly oxtongue, however more than one application may be needed.