Alpine Forget–me-not (Myosotis alpestris)
Alpine Forget-Me-Nots are some of the most beautiful perennials found in the park each year. The scientific name was derived from the Greek word for what botanists thought the petals resembled: a mouse’s ear! Forget-me-nots can be found from spring into early summer and are located in woodland and meadow areas. To find these flowers in GRTE, try your luck at Pilgrim Creek and on the Death Canyon trail in June!
Despite being a beautiful flower, some of the species of Forget-Me-Nots are often confused with an unbearable weed in wetland areas, like the scorpion weed (Myosotis scorpioides). To identify the weedy plant versus the high alpine flowers, take a look at the hairs along the calyx tube. The calyx is the collective sepals of the plant, or the outermost whorl of the plant. Alpine Forget-Me-Nots have hook shaped hairs at the end whereas the scorpion weeds’ hairs are straight. Check out https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/myosotis_asiatica.shtml for more information on Myosotis alpestris.
Written by Anna Cressman
PC: Anna Cressman