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Tufted Forget-me-not

Myosotis laxa

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Annual or Biennial
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Ditches, fens, fields, gardens, marshes, meadows, mountains, ponds, riversides, rocky places, waterside, wetland.

Blue, 5 petals
Small bright blue flowers, up to 5mm across. The petals are not notched. Flower stalks are about ¼ inch long. The similar-looking Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) has slightly larger flowers. The style of Tufted Forget-me-not is also shorter and narrower than the sepals.
Dark brown, shiny nutlets.
Oblong to elliptic leaves. The leaves are short-stalked and alternate along the stems. Toothless and covered in appressed hairs. An annual or biennial plant which is common throughout all of the British Isles.
Other Names:
Alpine Forget-me-not, Bay Forget-me-not, Smaller Forget-me-not, Small-flower Forget-me-not, Small-flowered Forget-me-not.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Myosotis laxa, commonly known as the alpine forget-me-not, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America, and it can be found in alpine and subalpine regions at high elevations.

It's a perennial herbaceous plant, which forms low-growing mat or clumps of foliage, typically growing to be 10-15cm tall. It has hairy, dark green leaves that are arranged in a basal rosette, and produces small, blue, five-petalled flowers in spring and summer.

Alpine forget-me-not is adapted to thrive in rocky soils and areas with little vegetation, it is a common and widespread species found in tundra, rocky outcrops, alpine meadows, and other high-elevation habitats.

Like other species of Myosotis, it has medicinal properties, the leaves and flowers have been used traditionally to make remedies for skin diseases, wounds and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cultivation of Myosotis laxa can be challenging, as it is native to high-elevation, alpine habitats and it may require specific growing conditions such as cooler temperatures, well-drained soil, and a moist environment. This species is not commonly cultivated, but it can be grown in rock gardens or alpine gardens, where it can be used as a ground cover.

It's also important to be aware that this species is protected in certain areas, it is rare or endangered in some places, and it should not be harvested or collected from the wild without permission.


Tufted forget-me-not, also known by its scientific name Myosotis laxa, is a beautiful and delicate flowering plant that belongs to the Boraginaceae family. It is a herbaceous perennial that is native to the mountainous regions of western North America and is commonly found in alpine meadows, along stream banks, and in moist woodland habitats. The tufted forget-me-not is a relatively small plant, growing to a height of only 5-15cm, and has small, light blue flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer.

The tufted forget-me-not is a hardy and adaptable plant, and it can grow in a wide range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and can thrive in areas with high levels of rainfall. The plant can also tolerate light shade and grows well in rock gardens, borders, and containers. The tufted forget-me-not is a relatively low-maintenance plant and requires little care once established.

The flowers of the tufted forget-me-not are an important source of nectar for a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths. The plant's small size and delicate flowers make it a popular choice for rock gardens and alpine plantings, where it can provide a splash of color to otherwise barren landscapes. The tufted forget-me-not is also an excellent choice for gardeners who are looking to attract pollinators to their gardens, as it provides a valuable food source for these important insects.

In addition to its aesthetic and ecological value, the tufted forget-me-not has also been used for medicinal purposes by indigenous peoples in North America. The plant has been traditionally used to treat a range of ailments, including headaches, coughs, and respiratory infections. The leaves of the plant contain mucilage, which has been used as a demulcent to soothe irritated membranes in the throat and lungs. The plant's flowers have also been used to make a tea that is said to have a calming effect on the nervous system.

In conclusion, the tufted forget-me-not is a beautiful and versatile plant that has many uses and benefits. Whether you are looking to add color to your garden, attract pollinators, or explore the plant's medicinal properties, the tufted forget-me-not is a great choice. Its delicate flowers and hardy nature make it a valuable addition to any landscape, and its ecological and cultural importance make it a plant that should be celebrated and protected.

Some Facts

Here are some additional details about the tufted forget-me-not:

  • The tufted forget-me-not is a popular plant in horticulture, and there are many cultivars available with different flower colors and sizes.

  • The plant's common name, forget-me-not, is said to have originated from a medieval German legend about a knight who picked a bouquet of the flowers for his sweetheart and fell into a river in the process. As he was swept away, he threw the bouquet to his lover and cried out "Vergiss mein nicht!" (which means "forget me not" in German).

  • The tufted forget-me-not is a short-lived perennial, meaning that it typically only lives for a few years. However, the plant self-seeds readily, so it can often perpetuate itself in a garden without needing to be replanted.

  • While the tufted forget-me-not is generally a hardy plant, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew and root rot if it is grown in poorly-drained soil or in overly damp conditions. To prevent these issues, it is important to ensure that the plant is grown in well-drained soil and that any dead or diseased plant material is promptly removed.

  • The tufted forget-me-not is a popular choice for cut flower arrangements, as its delicate flowers can add a touch of beauty and charm to any bouquet.

Overall, the tufted forget-me-not is a plant that is beloved for its beauty, versatility, and ecological value. Whether you are an avid gardener or simply appreciate the wonders of nature, this lovely little plant is sure to capture your heart.

More Facts

Here are a few more interesting facts about the tufted forget-me-not:

  • The tufted forget-me-not is also known by several other common names, including small forget-me-not, lax forget-me-not, and small-flowered forget-me-not.

  • In addition to being pollinated by bees and other insects, the tufted forget-me-not is also known to be pollinated by hummingbirds. These small birds are attracted to the plant's nectar and can often be seen hovering around the flowers.

  • The tufted forget-me-not has a long history of use in herbal medicine. In addition to the uses mentioned earlier, the plant has also been used to treat wounds, rheumatism, and skin conditions.

  • The tufted forget-me-not is a cold-hardy plant that can tolerate temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it an ideal choice for gardeners in colder climates who are looking for a hardy and reliable plant.

  • The tufted forget-me-not has a relatively short blooming period, with its flowers typically appearing in late spring or early summer and lasting for only a few weeks. However, the plant's delicate foliage remains attractive throughout the growing season and can provide a nice backdrop for other garden plants.

  • The tufted forget-me-not has a reputation for being a "shy" plant, as its delicate flowers tend to droop downwards and can be difficult to see from a distance. However, this can also make the plant appear more alluring and enchanting to those who take the time to appreciate its subtle beauty.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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