Lesser Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis laxa)

Myosotis laxa
Photographed June 8.

Something odd is happening with this species around here. It used to be fairly rare, but over the past few years it seems to have become a common little weed. This is a miniature version of the common Forget-Me-Not (M. scorpioides), very similar except for the size. It’s normally found near streams, but in Pittsburgh it likes the edge of a sidewalk just as well, especially if it’s a moist area like a drainpipe outflow.

Lesser Forget-Me-Not

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.)

Mouse-Ear Forget-Me-Not

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