COMMON NAME

Forget-me-not
true forget-me-not
yelloweye forget-me-not
water scorpion-grass


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME

Myosotis scorpioides L.


FAMILY NAME COMMON

Borage family


FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME

Myosotis scorpioides


IMAGES


Aquatic incursion

Flower close-up

Terrestrial incursion

Seedlings

Habit

NOMENCLATURE/SYNONYMS

Synonyms: Myosotis palustris (L.) Hill


DESCRIPTION

Botanical Glossary

Myosotis scorpioides is an herbaceous perennial that grows 20-60 cm (8-20 in.) in height. This plant often creeps, and has fibrous roots or stolons. The leaves of this plant are pubescent and evergreen. The lower leaves are usually oblanceolate while its other leaves are usually more oblong or elliptic. These leaves are obtuse and narrow at the base. They are 2.5-8 cm (1-3 in.) long and 7-20 mm (0.25-0.75 in.) wide. The small flowers are usually blue (rarely white) with a yellow center. They are flat and measure 6-7 mm (0.25 in.) wide. The racemes are located terminally and are many-flowered. The pedicel is longer than the calyx, which is strigose. The nutlets, which contain the seeds, are angled and keeled on the inner side. Page References Bailey 834, Crow & Hellquist 285, Fernald 1204, Gleason & Cronquist 422, Holmgren 396, Magee & Ahles 861, Newcomb 194, Peterson & McKenny 334. See reference section below for full citations.


SIMILAR SPECIES

Myosotis laxa Lehm. (Bay forget-me-not)
Myosotis sylvatica Ehrh. ex Hoffmann (Woodland forget-me-not) Myosotis sylvatica is often found in dry woods (not in the wet habitats where M. scorpioides grows), and has hooked hairs on its calyx. Myosotis laxa has smaller flowers than M. scorpioides.


REPRODUCTIVE/DISPERSAL MECHANISMS

Myosotis scorpioides reproduces by means of seeds. Since these plants are often found in shallow streams, their seeds can be moved by water.


DISTRIBUTION

Myosotis scorpioides is native to most of Europe and the western part of Asia. In the United States it has been reported from Maine south to Georgia and west to Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. It has also been reported from the west coast states, north to Alaska, and east to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Myosotis scorpioides has been reported from all of the New England states.


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND

Myosotis scorpioides was a popular garden plant, and was most likely introduced via intentional planting.


HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND

Edge, Floodplain Forest, Herbaceous Wetland, Lake or Pond, River or Stream, Wet Meadow, Yard or Garden

Myosotis scorpioides naturalizes in wet places, often along the banks of streams.


THREATS

Myosotis scorpioides is able to form large monocultures, especially in situations where it is in or near a stream. It is still commonly planted in gardens, allowing it to escape into natural environments.


DOCUMENTATION NEEDS

Documentation required: A photograph of the habit with flowers.
Best time for documentation: Spring, summer, fall.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description, images, and a map

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic information

PLANTS Database
General information and map

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)
Taxonomic information

Connecticut Botanical Society
Description and an image

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Description, images, and a map


REFERENCES

Bailey, L. H. 1949. Manual of Cultivated Plants. Macmillan, New York.

Crow G.E. and C.B. Hellquist. 2000. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America. Vol #1. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed. American Book Co., Boston.

Gleason, H. A. 1952. The New Britton and Brown Illustrated Flora of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. New York

Gleason H.A. and A.C. Cronquist.  1991.  Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd ed.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Holmgren N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Magee D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999.  Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

Newcomb N. 1977.  Newcomb's Wildflower Guide.  Little Brown, Boston.

Peterson R.T. and M. McKenny. 1968. A field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America.  Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

USDA, NRCS.  2001.  The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov).  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.