Water Forgetmenot

Water Forgetmenot

Water Forgetmenot - Myosotis scorpioides (= Myosotis palustris)

Plant with creeping rhizome and fleshy, ascendent stem with barely noticeable margins, smooth or slightly hairy in the upper portion (height 20-50 cm). Lanceolate, stalk-less leaves up to 8 cm long and thickly haired.

The inflorescence has no leaves nor bracts and is arranged in double heads, its curved shape looks rather like a scorpion's tail (which gives it its Latin name). Blue-violet corolla, pink in the centre, consisting of five petals fused together, 4-8 mm wide. It flowers from April to September.

This very pretty species lives in wet and flooded meadows, in the clearings of hygrophilous woods, at the edges of ditches, streams and ponds. It is common in the Po Valley and all of northern Italy up to 2,000 metres in altitude. It also occurs, but is rare, in the Peninsular and Sardinia. It is fairly frequent in northern Tuscany at the Fucecchio Marshes (in the Chiusi Wood and Ramone Marshlet) and the Bientina Marshes.

The name Myosotis means "mouse ear", and refers to the shape of the leaflets of some species belonging to this genus of plant.