Smaller Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis laxa)


Normally found near streams, but this plant was happy by a city sidewalk in Beechview, on the shady north side of a house near the exit of a drainpipe. Here we see it much enlarged; for a sense of scale, note the chain-link fence in the background.

Although Gray’s ambiguous note “(Eu.)” might seem to mean that the species comes from Europe, it seems rather to be a native species that also occurs in Europe.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

Corolla-tube about the length of the 6-toothed or 5-cleft calyx, the throat with 5 small and blunt arching appendages opposite the rounded lobes; the latter convolute in the bud! Stamens included, on very short filaments. Nutlets compressed. Low and mostly soft-hairy herbs, with entire leaves, those of the stem sessile, and with small flowers in naked racemes, which are entirely bractless, or occasionally with small leaves next the base, prolonged and straightened in fruit. (Name composed of myos, mouse, and os, ear, from the short and soft leaves in some species.)

M. laxa Lehm. Perennial from filiform subterranean shoots; stems very slender, decumbent; pubescence all appressed; leaves lanceolate-oblong or somewhat spatulate; calyx-lobes as long as the tube; limb of corolla rarely 5 mm. broad, paler blue. In water and wet ground, Nfd. to Ont., and southw. May-Aug. (Eu.)

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