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Myosotis sparsiflora

 

  • Family: Borage Family – Boraginaceae
  • Growing form: Annual herb.
  • Height: 15–35 cm (6–14 in.). Stem limp–erect, often many-branched, branches limp, sparsely hairy.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), approx. 2 mm (0.08 in.) wide. Corolla sapphire, fused, 5-lobed, funnel mouth with protuberances. Calyx fused, open bell-shaped, 5-lobed (deeply), lobes narrowly triangular; hairs hooked at base; calyx approx. 7 mm (0.28 in.) long in fruit. Stamens 5, filaments united with corolla funnel. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence very lax especially at base, a scorpioid cyme becoming racemose; lower part leaved. Flower-stalk inclines downward after flowering, lowest ones more than 2 cm (0.8 in.).
  • Leaves: Alternate. Lower leaves stalked, upper stalkless. Blade elliptic–narrowly elliptic, with entire margin, hairy.
  • Fruit: 4-parted schizocarp. Mericarps egg-shaped, glossy, concave, approx. 2 mm (0.08 in.) long.
  • Habitat: Gardens, yards, parks, inhabited areas, rocky outcrops.
  • Flowering time: June–July.

Forget-me-nots in Finland are among the most abundant genus of their family. There are a total of 9 species and many more subspecies and forms. Myosotis sparsiflora differs in many respects from other Finnish forget-me-not species: it often has a limp stem and is fragile, very sparsely hairy and many-branched. Even during flowering it is lax and long-leaved. As the fruit matures the flower-stalks stretch and at the same time slope downwards. Juicy protuberances grow on the carpels to tempt ants. As these are eaten the carpel is transported to a new growing place. M. sparsiflora has not reached Finland on the backs of ants, however, rather it has needed human help. The species has spread mainly from Eastern Europe, from where it has probably originally spread with travellers to cultivated fields and inhabited areas. The species can hardly be called a weed, because it appears sporadically mainly in Southern Finland, usually in damp, shady areas in old gardens. In its native habitat the species grows on river banks and broadleaf hedgerows.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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