[The Forget-me-nots of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not

Myosotis micrantha

Synonym: Myosotis stricta

Inflorescence of Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not: Myosotis micrantha (Synonym: Myosotis stricta)

Close-up view of the inflorescence of blue scorpion grass as seen along Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area in south-central Washington..........May 24, 2009.

Characteristics:

Blue scorpion-grass is a small, weedy annual or winter annual with one to several simple to often branched stems (from near the base) arising up to 20 cm high. The leaves, stems and calyces are denselyt covered with spreading hairs (as noted in the photos). The leaves are simple with entire margins and rarely exceed 2 cm in length or 7 mm in width. The lower leaves are oblanceolate in outline while the upper leaves generally are elliptic or oblong in shape.

The flowers of blue scorpion-grass are found over most of the length of the stems, with the lowermost flowers axillary in the lower leaves while the upper flowers are not subtended by bracts or leaves. The inflorescence is generally opens as flowering occurs, with the flowers at the tip of the stem more densely packed in a scorpioid arrangement (as seen in the photo at right). The pedicels as measured in fruit are less than 2 mm long, or much shorter than the calyces which are 3-5 mm long. The calyx is covered with many long, spreading hairs as well sa shorter hoked hairs. The flowers are blue with the corolla limb about 1-2 mm wide, the lobes ascending rather than spreading at right angles to the axis of the flower.


Habitat:

Blue scorpion-grass is typically found in open, somewhat disturbed places such as roadsides, grasslands and open streambanks which are vernally moist.


Range:

A native of Eurasia, blue scorpion-grass may now be found across much of the northern United States and southern Canada. In the Pacific Northwest, it is generally found east of the Cascade Mts.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2200' from near Dog Mountain east to Biggs, OR.


Inflorescence of Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not: Myosotis micrantha (Synonym: Myosotis stricta)

Close-up sideview of the scorpioid inflorescence of blue scorpion grass as seen along Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area in south-central Washington.........May 24, 2009.

Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not: Myosotis micrantha (Synonym: Myosotis stricta)

Blue scorpion grass as seen along Old Headquarters Road in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area in south-central Washington.........May 24, 2009.

Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not: Myosotis micrantha (Synonym: Myosotis stricta) - Close-up of the hairs on a stem of Blue Scorpion Grass, Blue Scorpiongrass, Mouse Ear, Strict Forget-me-not: Myosotis micrantha (Synonym: Myosotis stricta)

Examples of blue scorpion grass as seen along the Klickitat Trail at Klickitat Springs, Klickitat County, WA..........May 8, 2011.

Paul Slichter