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Myosotis ramosissima - Early Forget-me-not

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

Early Forget-me-not growing on coastal dune grassland

Description

The tiny blue flowers of Early Forget-me-not are 1-2.5mm across and have five fused petals. The 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 are typically 10-25cm tall.

Distribution

This plant is widespread and fairly common throughout most of Britain and Ireland but it is scarce in the far northwest of Scotland. Early Forget-me-not is also found in many parts of mainland Europe.

Early Forget-me-nots, buttercups and bluebells in coastal grassland

Blooming times

Early Forget-me-not produces flowers during April and May in Britain and Ireland.

Habitat

An annual or biennial wildflower of dry habitats, Early Forget-me-not is commonly found in higher parts of old sand-dune systems and other coastal grasslands, but it does also occur inland, usually on bare stony lime-rich land such as disused quarries. The plants shown on this page were seen in dry grassland bordering the estuary of the River Teifi in West Wales.

Etymology

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

Similar species

Field Forget-me-not Myosotis arvensis also favours dry habitats; it has grey-blue flowers whereas the flowers of Early Forget-me-not are sky blue.

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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