Montag, 14. Mai 2012

Plant of the Day (May 14th, 2012) - Myosostis sylvatica agg.

Today's “Plant of the Day” is Myosostis sylvativa (L.) Hill. from the Boraginaceae family. In English, this plant is commonly known as “wood forget-me-not” while in German, it's called “Wald-Vergissmeinnicht”.

M. sylvatica - habitus

It's a herb, which can reach heights between 15 and 45 centimetres (5.9 to 17.7 inches).
The plant grows upright and in dense stocks. Each plant has a leaf rosette at its base, which are going over into the bracts gently. The bracts are broad and have a lanceolate shape. It's also important, that the rosette leaves are stalked and the bracts are sitting.

M. sylvatica - leaf

The entire plant is covered with protruding bristles, which is a distinctive feature of all Boraginaceae.

 M. sylvatica - stem, bracts & bristles

Flowering time is between April and June. The inflorescences are umbel-shaped racemes with radial flowers. The green sepals are narrow to lineal and also covered with bristles. The petals are reddish at first, but become sky-blue later. There are also yellow scales, which narrow the corolla tube.

M. sylvatica - inflorescence

The pollen is very small with only 4 X 6 micrometres; making the pollen of M. sylvatica to the smallest pollen of the German flora. This is unusual, because small pollen are often distributed by the wind, but at M. sylvatica, the pollinators are still insects.

The ripe fruit is a shizocarp “Klausenfrucht”. This is a fruit, which consists of two carpels but divides itself into four smaller fruits after ripening. The Klausenfrucht is typical for the Boraginaceae and the Lamiacae.

M. sylvatica - flowers

M. sylvatica is native to Middle Europe, where it grows on fresh, nutrient-rich soils. So you can find it e. g. on meadows, pastures or at the edges of woods. Some sorts are also very popular garden plants, which can also start to grow wild. So, it's likely, that my photos show some of these sorts, but I cannot say what.

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