General Species Description
- Common forget-me-not is a stoloniferous to rhizomatous plant that grows
20-60 cm tall. The stems are long, weak and leafy to the tips.
- The leaves are simple, alternate, oblong to lance shaped with with smooth
margins and soft, erect hairs. The size is commonly 2.5-8 cm long and 7-20 mm
wide. Lower leaves may have winged stalks.
- The flowers of Common forget-me-not are five lobed and wheel shaped.
They have purplish-blue petals with yellow centers and originate on terminal
racemes. There are five stamens on each flower and each sepal is 3-4 mm
long. The flowers are usually up to 10 mm wide and the petal lobes overlap
each other slightly.
- The fruits of the common forget-me-not are very tiny. The "nutlets" are
four lobed, convex and smooth at the top with angular sides.
- Common forget-me-not is commonly found in freshwater marshes, ditches,
slow moving water and shallow pools. It grows best in saturated soils and is
usually found growing with many obligate plant species such as water parsley
(Oenanthe sarmentosa), sedges (Carex species), and American brooklime (Veronica
americana). It may also be found growing among cattails (Typha sp.) and
different mint species (Mentha sp.).
- Common forget-me-not is a native plant of Eurasia. It is found extensively
throughout the Pacific Northwest and up into British Columbia. It has been found
in all counties in western Washington and northwestern Oregon. It is most abundant
in moist to wet sites in low to mid elevations. It can also be found, though rare, in
the Queen Charlotte Islands and northern southeast Alaska.
- Similar to the common forget-me-not is the small water forget-me-not
(Myosotis laxa). Though the two plants are very similar there are two main
distinguishing features. The petals of the small water forget-me-not do not
overlap each other as do the petals of the common forget-me-not. Also the
small water forget-me-not grows from a single clump of fibrous roots whereas
the common forget-me-not is stoloniferous to rhizomatous. The flowers of the
small water forget-me-not are usually light blue rather than the purple-blue
of the common forget-me-not. Other similar species are the Water veronica
(Veronica anagallis-aquatica) and the Marsh veronica (Veronica scutellata).
Water veronica has smaller flowers, opposite, clasping leaves and notched fruits.
Marsh Veronica has linear to linear-lance-shaped leaves which are opposite and up
to 8 cm long. It has deeply notched fruits and few-flowered racemes.
- Because of its creeping nature, common forget-me-not can aid in erosion control or act as
bedding for small animals.
- Common forget-me-not is very pleasing to the eye.
- Cooke, Sarah Spear, 1997. A Field Guide to the Common Wetland Plants of Western
Washington and Northwestern Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society and Washington Native
Plant Society. Seattle Audubon Society. Seattle WA, 471pp.
Pojar, Jim and MacKinnon, Andy, 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast; Washington
Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing.
This page was created by: Mandy Summer, August 1998
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