What does "picking dog-tongue" mean in "The Scarlet Ibis"?
Doodle and his older brother spent a great deal of time together at Old Woman Swamp, where they picked flowers, rowed their boat, and dreamed of the future. One of their activities was picking dog-tongue, and the two boys even planned to do this "for a living" one day. Dog-tongue is just one of the nicknames given to Cynoglossum officinale, a plant that produces red and purple flowers. Dog-tongue is also known as houndstooth or houndstongue, and it has been used for several hundred years as a remedy for various ailments including baldness, ulcers, coughs and even venereal disease. Doodle's parents may have used the plant as an herbal remedy, since both boys recognized its medicinal and/or monetary value.