Myosotis laxa ssp. baltica Myosotis laxa ssp. baltica Myosotis laxa ssp. baltica

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Tufted Forget-me-not

Myosotis laxa

  • Name also: Bay Forget-me-not, Small-flowered Forget-me-not, Smaller Forget-me-not
  • Family: Borage Family – Boraginaceae
  • Growing form: Annual or biennial herb.
  • Height: 10–40 cm (4–16 in.). Stem limp–erect, branched, hair growing upwards flush with stem, base rooting.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), 3–5 mm (0.12–0.2 in.) wide. Corolla light blue or white, fused, almost wheel-shaped, 5-lobed, protuberances in throat of tube. Calyx fused, campanulate (bell-shaped), 5-lobed, lobed till around halfway, lobes narrowly triangular; hairs flush with calyx; Calyx 3–8 mm (0.12–0.32 in.) long in fruiting stage. Stamens 5, filaments fused with calyx-tube. Gynoecium fused, single-styled, body shorter than calyx. Inflorescence a scorpioid cyme, extending to become racemose; flowers usually without subtending bracts. Flower-stalk hair flush with surface, after flowering 2–3 times as long as calyx.
  • Leaves: Basal leaves short-stalked, stalk winged, stem leaves alternate, almost stalkless. Blade narrowly lanceolate–oblanceolate, with entire margin, underside almost glabrous, bristle-haired on top.
  • Fruit: 4-parted schizocarp. Mericarps egg-shaped, brown, 1.5–2 mm (0.06–0.08 in.) long.
  • Habitat: Shores, ditches, damp meadows. Sometimes submerged in rivers.
  • Flowering time: June–August.

The sky-blue flowers of forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) are familiar to everyone. The genus’s other markers are e.g. a scorpioid inflorescence that lacks subtending bracts, and glabrous, glossy carpels. There are around 50 forget-me-not species altogether, 9 of which grow in Finland.

Tufted forget-me-not thrives best in damp habitats where the vegetative cover has gaps: ditch-sides, boat harbours and other open places suit it wonderfully well. It is especially happy in decomposing seaweed piles. Tufted forget-me-not has a subspecies (ssp. baltica), which is an annual that grows limply with long nodes on the Åland Islands and the south-western Finnish archipelago. It thrives best in shoreside meadows and on rocky outcrops, and can stand a slightly higher amount of salt than its close relative water forget-me-not (M. scorpioides), which also grows by the sea.

Tufted forget-me-not and water forget-me-not can be confused with each other because both favour the same damp habitats. Tufted forget-me-not however lacks a rootstock, its stem is always round, its flower is smaller and its calyx lobes are narrowly triangular.

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

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