2. Myosotis scorpioides L. (forget-me-not, water scorpiongrass)
scorpioides var. palustris
M. palustris (L.) L.
Map 1304, Pl.
307 d, e
herbs, with fibrous roots. Stems 15–60 cm long, spreading with
ascending tips, often rooting at the lower nodes, solitary or more commonly few
to several, usually few- to several-branched, sparsely to moderately pubescent
with fine, stiff, mostly appressed-ascending, sometimes minutely pustular-based
hairs. Leaf blades 2–8 cm long, 5–15 mm wide, narrowly oblong
to narrowly oblong-elliptic or oblanceolate, rounded or angled to a bluntly
pointed tip, the surfaces and margins moderately pubescent with short, stiff,
appressed, pustular-based hairs. Inflorescences often appearing paired at the
branch tips, the spikelike racemes sometimes aggregated into small panicles,
the flowers with stalks 3–5 mm long, these elongating to 5–8 mm
and spreading to slightly drooping at fruiting, all or nearly all lacking
bracts. Calyces 2.5–4.0 mm long, actinomorphic, 5-lobed less than 1/2
of the way to the base, the lobes all more or less similar in appearance,
broadly triangular, moderately to densely pubescent with short, appressed
hairs, these straight at the tip. Corollas 4–10 mm long, broadly
trumpet-shaped to nearly saucer-shaped, the tube 2.0–3.5 mm long, the
spreading portion 5–9 mm in diameter (measured across the tips of the
lobes), light blue to blue with a yellow spot in the throat, usually pink in
bud. Stamens inserted near the tip of the corolla tube. Style 2.0–2.5
mm long, equal to or extending slightly beyond the tips of the nutlets. Nutlets
1–2 mm long, dark brown to black. 2n=22, 44, 64, 66.
sporadic, mostly in the southern half of the state (native of Europe,
introduced nearly throughout temperate North America). Banks of streams,
rivers, and spring branches and margins of lakes; also ditches.
This species is
one of three or more Old World species cultivated in gardens under the name
forget-me-not. It rarely becomes established outside of cultivation in the
Midwest. A morphologically similar relative, M. laxa Lehm. (smaller
forget-me-not), is native and widespread in both the eastern and western United
States but has not been collected yet in Missouri or most of the adjacent
states. It differs from M. scorpioides in its stems mostly not rooting
at the lower nodes, smaller corollas (the spreading portion 2–5 mm in
diameter), and styles shorter than the nutlets.