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Genus of the Week

Week of Feb. 23 - Mar. 1

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.

This week's genus:


Myosotis

Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Asteridae
Order: Polemoniales
Family: Boraginaceae; The Forget-Me-Nots
Subfamily: Boraginoideae
Tribe: Lithospermeae
Number of Species:approximately 50
Root: Latin origin from the Greek "muosotis", with "mus" meaning muscle and "ous" meaning ear. Another possibility is that "mus" refers to mouse, resulting in "mouse ears", a reference to the pubescent leaves.

Plants of the genus Myosotis are the true Forget-me-nots of the family. They are of economic importance due to their ornamental value (most have attractive bluish flowers). Of the dozen or so species present in North America, several are native to Europe, but they have naturalized after being introduced. The common name reputedly refers to a quote by a soon to be King Henry IV concerning the fact that wearing the flowers would cause one never to be forgotten. (Please see The L.A. Times web feature 52 Weeks in the Garden: Week 16 for a full reference.)

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Myosotis species:


References:

  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Neiring, William A. and Nancy C. Olmstead., eds. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, Eastern Region. Alfred A. Knopf, New York: 1979.

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