Myosotis arvensis (Field Forget-me-not)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life cycle:annual, biennial, short-lived perennial
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; disturbed soils; roadsides, fields, waste places, gardens
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:4 to 16 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FAC NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] Raceme of stalked flowers at the tips of branching stems, the cluster initially tightly curled at the tip with flowers opening in succession as the tip unfurls and elongates. Flowers are about 1/8 inch across, blue or occasionally white, short-tubular with five spreading, round to egg shaped lobes. The base of the lobes has a scale-like swollen appendage that forms a light to bright yellow collar around the throat. Flower stalks are about ¼ inch long, elongating in fruit.

[photo of calyx with hooked, spreading hairs] The calyx surrounding the base of the flower is shorter than the stalk and has five narrow lance-triangular lobes that are about as long as the calyx tube. The floral tube is slightly shorter than the calyx, causing the flower to take on a shallow bowl or saucer shape even when fully open. The central stem, flower stalks and the calyx are densely covered in spreading hairs, at least some of which on the lower calyx have minutely hooked tips (hand lens recommended).

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves and stem] Leaves are alternate, toothless, the lower leaves mostly broadest above the middle, often stalked, up to 2¼ inches long and 2/3 inch wide, becoming smaller, stalkless and more lance-oblong as they ascend the stem. Surfaces are densely covered in spreading and appressed hairs, with a fringe of hairs all around the edge. Stems are round in cross-section or angled, multiple and branched at the base, erect, becoming widely branched above, densely covered in both spreading and appressed soft hairs.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

Fruit is a small three sided, black nutlet hidden inside the persistent calyx; nutlets are longer than the persistent short style.


Field Forget-me-not is one of three non-native Myosotis species now naturalized in Minnesota. While it can be weedy, it appears to only occasionally naturalize and is not commonly encountered, though over all its presence is likely under reported. The five Myosotis species in Minnesota fall into two camps: those with appressed hairs on the calyx, and those with spreading hairs. M. arvensis is in the spreading-hairy group along with the native Spring Forget-me-not (Myosotis verna) and the non-native Wood Forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica). M. verna is distinguished by its typically all-white flowers that lack the yellow eye, plants that are few branched, and in Minnesota is restricted to bedrock outcrops in the central and western parts of the state. M. sylvatica is distinguished by flowers about twice the size of M. arvensis.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Cook County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Aitkin and Cook counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: John S - edina
on: 2017-05-15 11:14:01

This is spreading like wild fire across my natural garden and woods.First appeared several years ago.

Posted by: Elain - Cambridge Township
on: 2017-05-29 20:56:39

Present in our woods and appears to be spreading rapidly.

Posted by: Brandon Hankey - St. Louis County
on: 2020-05-27 21:13:14

This has become common in the woods around Holy Rosary School in Duluth.

Posted by: Fred - Cook County
on: 2022-06-10 11:12:07

Spread all around our cabin mostly in sun/shade areas.

Posted by: Edith Lueke - Rochester
on: 2023-06-11 01:22:01

I have these in my back yard and on my drain field.

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