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Woodland forget-me-not

(Myosotis sylvaticum or M. sylvatica)

Photo of woodland forget-me-not
Photo credit: Elizabeth J. Czarapata

Woodland forget-me-not is a short-lived creeping woodland perennial plant. Five-petaled flowers are small, blue with a bright yellow center.


Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: forget-me-not, victoria blue
  • Scientific names: Myosotis oblongata
Ecological threat:
  • Woodland forget-me-not can quickly crowd out native plant species and is able to form large monocultures.
  • Affects community composition by reducing the number of native herbs, such as spring ephemeral wildflowers.
  • This species has the ability to escape gardens and grow in undisturbed natural environments.
  • Woodland forget-me-not is difficult to control due to its mechanisms for spreading. It is capable of abundant reproduction through spreading stolons (runners) and abundant seed production.
Overview map of woodland forget-me-not classification in WI
Restricted (orange) counties

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for Woodland forget-me-not was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.


Leaves & stems: Simple and alternate, oblong to spatulate in shape. Plants are perennial, sprawling via rhizomes and reach up to 12 inches tall.

Flowers: Sky-blue in color, rarely white, with a yellow center. Individual flowers are 5-petaled. Blooms May-September.

Similar species: A similar invasive species is the aquatic forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpiodes; non-native); however, the woodland forget-me-not can be distinguished by its spreading, hooked sepal hairs. There is a native forget-me-not that is somewhat rare in Wisconsin. Small forget-me-not (Myosotis laxa) can be distinguished from the non-native M. scorpoides by corolla limbs (free part of petal), which are 2 to 5 mm wide in M. laxa and 5 to 10 mm wide in M. scorpoides. These species can also be distinguished by their calyx lobes, which are about as long as the rest of the floral tube in M. laxa and much shorter than the rest of the floral tube in M. scorpoides.


  • Smaller populations can be hand-pulled or dug before seed set. Be sure to remove the entire root system.
  • Monitor for re-sprouts.
  • There is little information available on the effectiveness of chemical treatment on Myosotis species.
  • Foliar spray with glyphosate accordingly to label rates.


View woodland forget-me-not pictures in our photo gallery!


Sources for content:
  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 120-121.
Links for more information: