This perennial wildflower is 6-20" tall and either unbranched or
branched. The central stem is medium green, terete, and hairy.
The alternate leaves are 1-3" long and ¼-¾" across; they are
oblong-elliptic or oblong-oblanceolate in shape, smooth along their
margins, and sessile. The upper leaf surface is medium green and either
sparsely covered with appressed hairs, while the lower surface is
medium green and sparsely to moderately covered with hairs. Each leaf
has a prominent central vein.
The central stem (and any lateral stems)
terminates in a raceme of flowers 2-10" long. The apex of this raceme
curves laterally and slightly downward like a scorpion's tail. The
central stalk of the raceme is medium green, terete, and covered with
appressed hairs. The flowers occur on slender pedicels about ¼" long.
Each flower is about 1/4-1/3" (6-8 mm.) across, consisting of a light
blue corolla with 5 petal-like lobes, a short tubular calyx with 5
teeth, 5 stamens that are inserted within the corolla, and a pistil
with a single style. The opening of the corolla is narrow and it is
surrounded by a ring of yellow. The calyx is medium green and covered
with appressed hairs; its teeth are shorter than the calyx
they are ovate in shape. The blooming period can occur from late spring
to early fall. On each raceme,
only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Each flower is
replaced by 4 small nutlets that are shorter than the persistent style.
The root system is shallow and fibrous. The base of a plant's stem is
often creeping or stolon-like, where it can take root and produce
clonal offsets. This often results in a colony of plants.
The preference is full or partial sun and wet to moist conditions. This
wildflower adapts to ordinary garden soil containing loam or clay-loam
if it is kept sufficiently moist. Shallow standing water
True Forget-Me-Not rarely naturalizes
where it is found primarily in the NE section of the state. It was
introduced into North America from Eurasia as
an ornamental garden plant. While True Forget-Me-Not has not been
invasive in Illinois thus far, it has become aggressive in some
areas of northeastern United States. Habitats consist of low areas
along springs, ponds, and slow-moving streams where the supply
of moisture is more or less stable.
to Müller (1873/1883) in Germany, the flowers of True Forget-Me-Not
attract small butterflies and dance flies (Empis spp.
feed on the nectar. Two polyphagous aphids, Myzus persicae
have been observed to suck plant juices from
species) in Illinois (Hottes & Frison,
1931). When this wildflower forms colonies of plants along wetlands, it
provides cover for snakes and small animals.
Along a pond or slow-moving stream at the Toledo
Botanical Garden in
This is one of the blue-flowered Forget-Me-Not species (some others
have white flowers). True Forget-Me-Not is a larger plant with larger
leaves and larger flowers (6-8 mm. across) than the native Myosotis laxa
Forget-Me-Not), which has flowers about 3-4 mm. across. Another species
that is sometimes cultivated, the non-native Myosotis sylvatica
Forget-Me-Not), has a very similar appearance to True Forget-Me-Not.
Garden Forget-Me-Not differs by having spreading hooked hairs on its
calyx, and its calyx teeth are as long or
longer than the calyx tube. Furthermore, its calyx teeth are more
lanceolate and pointed than those of True Forget-Me-Not, which are more
ovate and blunt.