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WoodlandForgetMeNot

Woodland forget-me-not
(Myosotis sylvaticum or M. sylvatica)

Woodland forget-me-not is a short-lived creeping woodland perennial plant. Five-petaled flowers are small, blue with a bright yellow center.

Overview

Regulated areas of woodland forget-me-not
This species is Restricted (Orange counties)

Other names for this plant include:

  • Common names: Forget-me-not, forget-me-not, victoria blue
  • Scientific names: Myosotis oblongata

Ecological threat:

  • Woodland forget-me-not can quickly crowd-out native plant species and is able to form large monocultures.
  • Affects community composition by reducing the number of native herbs, such as spring ephemeral wildflowers.
  • This species has the ability to escape gardens and grow in undisturbed natural environments.
  • Woodland forget-me-not is difficult to control due to its mechanisms for spreading. It is capable of abundant reproduction through spreading stolons (runners) and abundant seed production.

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Woodland forget-me-not was based upon this literature review developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves & stems: Simple and alternate, oblong to spatulate in shape. Plants are perennial, sprawling via rhizomes, and reach up to 12 inches tall.

Flowers: Sky-blue in color, rarely white, with a yellow center. Individual flowers are 5-petaled. Blooms May-September.

Similar species: A similar invasive species is the aquatic forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpiodes; non-native); however, the woodland forget-me-not can be distinguished by its spreading, hooked sepal hairs. There is a native forget-me-not that is somewhat rare in Wisconsin. Small forget-me-not (Myosotis laxa) can be distinguished from the non-native M. scorpoides by corolla limbs (free part of petal), which are 2 to 5 mm wide in M. laxa and 5 to 10 mm wide in M. scorpoides. These species can also be distinguished by their calyx lobes, which are about as long as the rest of the floral tube in M. laxa and much shorter than the rest of floral tube in M. scorpoides.

Distribution

Myosotis_sylvatica
Counties in WI where woodland forget-me-not has been reported (as of October 2013). Both vouchered and unvouchered reports included.

Do you have woodland forget-me-not in your county but it isn't shaded on the map? Have you seen it? Send us a report.

Control

Mechanical:

  • Smaller populations can be hand-pulled or dug before seed set. Be sure to remove the entire root system.
  • Monitor for re-sprouts.

Chemical:

  • There is little information available on the effectiveness of chemical treatment on Myosotis species.
  • Foliar spray with glyphosate accordingly to label rates.

Photos

View woodland forget-me-not pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:

  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 120-121.

Links for More Information

Last revised: Monday June 03 2019