T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Myosotis (Genus) Forget me not

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: (unplaced)
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Boraginoideae
Genus: Myosotis
Species: There is about 50

Myosotis from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae that are commonly called Forget-me-nots. There are approximately fifty species in the genus, with much variation. 
Most have small (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centres, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native; they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.
Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere.  They are widely distributed.

Most Myosotis species are indigenous to New Zealand, though one or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiralling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.