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Myosotis arvensis - Field Forget-me-not

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: insertae sedis - Family: Boraginaceae

Field Forget-me-not

Description

Flowers of Field Forget-me-not are 3-5mm across and have greyish-blue (occasionally pinkish) petals. The curved flowering stalks unfurl to display a succession five-lobed flowers. Leaves and stems are softly hairy. A basal rosette of stalked elongated ellipsoidal leaves usually shrivels by the time that the flowers are opening, while the upper narrow leaves are stalkless and alternate along the stem. Plants branch from the base and can grow to a height of 40cm.

Distribution

This annual or biennial plant is thought to have been introduced to Britain in ancient times and is now widespread and common throughout most of Britain and Ireland. Field Forget-me-not is also found in many parts of mainland Europe, and its eastern range extends across much of Asia.

Field Forget-me-nots, buttercups and bluebells in trackside grassland

Blooming times

Field Forget-me-not produces flowers from April to October in Britain and Ireland, but the flowers are at their very best in springtime.

Habitat

A wildflower of arable land and other disturbed dryish habitats, Field Forget-me-not is commonly seen also on roadside verges, woodland edges, hedgerows and crumbling walls. The plants shown on this page were growing in dry trackside grassland in Pembrokeshire, West Wales.

Etymology

Myosotis, the genus name, means 'mouse-ear' and refers to the shape and hairiness of the leaves. The specific epithet arvensis means 'of the fields'.

Similar species

Early Forget-me-not Myosotis ramosissima favours dry grassy habitats; its flowers are smaller with petals that are fused.

Other Myosotis species

In Europe, Asia, Australia and North America there are several dozen accepted species in the Myosotis genus, many of which occur in Britain and Ireland.


Volume 1

We hope that you have found this information helpful. If so we are sure you would find our books Wonderful Wildflowers of Wales, vols 1 to 4, by Sue Parker and Pat O'Reilly very useful too. Buy copies here...

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