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Myosotis (/ˌmaɪ.əˈsoʊtɪs/ MY-ə-SOH-tiss) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. The name comes from the Ancient Greek μυοσωτίς "mouse's ear", which the foliage is thought to resemble. In the northern hemisphere they are colloquially denominated forget-me-nots or scorpion grasses. The colloquial name "forget-me-not" was calqued from the German Vergissmeinnicht and first used in English in AD 1398 through King Henry IV of England. Similar names and variations are found in many languages. Myosotis alpestris is the official flower of Alaska and Dalsland, Sweden. Plants of the genus are commonly confused with Chatham Islands' forget-me-nots which belong to the related genus Myosotidium.
More than 500 species names have been recorded, but only 74 species are presently accepted. The remainder are either synonyms of presently accepted or proposed names. The genus is largely restricted to western Eurasia with circa 60 confirmed species and New Zealand with circa 40 confirmed species. A paucity of species occur elsewhere including North America, South America, and Papua New Guinea.
Despite this, Myosotis species are now common throughout temperate latitudes because of the introduction of cultivars and alien species. Many happen to be popular in horticulture. They prefer moist habitats—in locales where they are not native, they frequently escape to wetlands and riverbanks. Only those native to the Northern hemisphere are colloquially denominated "forget-me-nots".
One or two European species, especially Myosotis sylvatica, the "woodland" forget-me-nots, were introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Myosotis are food for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the setaceous Hebrew character. Many of the species in New Zealand are threatened.
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