Myosotis laxa (Smaller Forget-me-not)

Plant Info
Also known as: Tufted Forget-me-not
Family:Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life cycle:annual, biennial, short-lived perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; moist soil; stream banks, sedge meadows, floodplain forest, swamps
Bloom season:May - September
Plant height:4 to 16 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
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 1/8 to ¼ inch across, bright to pale blue, tubular with 5 spreading, oval to egg-shaped lobes. The base of the lobes has a scale-like swollen appendage that forms a light to deep yellow collar around the throat. Flower stalks are about ¼ inch long.

[photo of calyx with appressed hairs] The calyx surrounding the base of the flower is shorter than the stalk and has five narrow lance-triangular lobes that may be unequal in length and are more or less as long as the calyx tube. The stem, flower stalks and calyx are sparsely to densely covered with short, straight, appressed hairs.

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

[photo of leaves and stems] Leaves are alternate, the lower leaves mostly broadest above the middle, short-stalked, 1 to 2½ inches long and ¼ to 2/3 inch wide, becoming smaller, stalkless or nearly so, and more lance-oblong as they ascend the stem. Surfaces are sparsely to moderately covered in appressed hairs, edges are toothless and lack a fringe of hairs. Stems are round in cross-section or angled, multiple from the base, weak and often sprawling but not rooting at nodes, the flower stalks and upper branches ascending, and sparsely covered with appressed hairs. 

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

Fruits are small, shiny black nutlets hidden inside the persisitent calyx, nutlets surpass the persistent style.


Spring Forget-me-not is one of two native Myosotis species in Minnesota. The five Myosotis species in the state fall into two camps: those with appressed hairs on the calyx, and those with spreading hairs. M. laxa is in the appressed-hairy group along with the non-native True Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides). Both share a similar wetland habitat but M. scorpioides is distinguished by its more dense and robust growth and flowers about twice the size of M. laxa.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Cass County.


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

Posted by: Catherine L Gabrielson - Minnehaha Falls
on: 2019-08-06 17:14:50

Saw these along edge of the very damp path 8/5/2019 at Minnehaha Park.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2019-08-06 19:53:35

Catherine, more likely you saw one of the weedy Myosotis species, perhaps true forget-me-not, M. scorpioides.

Posted by: TC - Minnehaha Falls
on: 2020-08-30 22:47:19

Definitely laxa, not scorpioides. Looked at pictures of both side by side. Myosotis laxa ssp. laxa, for sure. The flowers are much smaller than the leaves, and the whole plant is small and centralized, growing alone rather than in colonies. Seen growing at the banks in wet, sandy soil in association with other amphibious plants.

Posted by: Nancy mcdaniels - Minnehaha falls
on: 2021-08-23 11:07:57

It is laxa.

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