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See also: Forget-me-not
Myosotis arvensis ois.JPG
Myosotis arvensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: (unplaced)
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Myosotis
Type species
Myosotis scorpioides
L. [1]

Myosotis (/ˌm.əˈstɪs/;[2] from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. In the northern hemisphere they are commonly called forget-me-nots[3] or scorpion grasses.


There are currently 74 accepted species in the genus although some 503 species names have been recorded, many of which are synonyms of currently accepted names and others are awaiting resolution.[4] The genus is largely restricted to two discrete geographic centres - western Eurasia with about 60 confirmed species and New Zealand with around 40 confirmed species. Very small numbers of species occur elsewhere including North America, South America and Papua New Guinea.[3] Mysosotis species are now common throughout temperate latitudes through the planting of cultivars and introductions of alien species.


Myosotis have 5-merous actinomorphic flowers with 5 sepals and petals. Flowers are typically 1 cm diameter (or less), flat, and blue, pink, white or yellow with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They may be annual or perennial with alternate leaves. They typically flower in spring or soon after snow-melt in alpine eco-systems.

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.

Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.


Mysosotis' are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the setaceous Hebrew character.

Related genera[edit]

The Chatham Islands forget-me-not belongs to a related genus, Myosotidium.


Currently 74 species are classified as accepted species at The Plant List:[4] of which 40 are endemic to New Zealand.[5] The full list of species includes the following:




  1. ^ Carlos Lehnebach (2012). "Lectotypification of three species of forget-me-nots (Myosotis: Boraginaceae) from Australasia". Tuhinga 23: 17–28. 
  2. ^ "Myosotis". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b Richard C. Winkworth, Jürke Grau, Alastair W. Robertson & Peter J. Lockhart (2002). "The origins and evolution of the genus Myosotis" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 24 (2): 180–193. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00210-5. PMID 12144755. 
  4. ^ a b "Species in Myosotis". The Plant List. Retrieved March 28, 2015.  Plant Life - Myosotis]
  5. ^ NZ Flora factsheet - Myosotis

External links[edit]

  • Data related to Myosotis at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Myosotis at Wikimedia Commons