Myosotis lyallii Hook.f. var. lyallii, Myosotis lyallii var. townsonii (Cheeseman) L.B.Moore, Myosotis townsonii Cheeseman
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2018 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Data Deficient
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North and South Islands
Subalpine to alpine in fellfield, cushion-bog, and solifluction lobes and bordering areas of snow-melt,
Compact, usually solitary rosette-forming perennial herb. Rosette-leaves c.15-35 × 4-7 mm, elliptic, elliptic-obovate to ovate-spathulate, petiole about equal in length to lamina, tip obtuse, sometimes apiculate; hairs flexuous, longer on margins, absent or very sparse on the leaf undersides. Lateral branches few, decumbent, rarely > 80 mm long, internodes equal to or less than length of leaves. Stem-leaves smaller and narrower than rosette-leaves, tip subacute; hairs flexuous, sparser on undersurface. Cymes usually simple, few-flowered, 10-20 mm long, bracts usually associated with lowermost 2-3 flowers; internodes usually less than calyx in fruit. Calyx 4-6 mm long, lobes cut to about half the length or less of calyx, subacute; hairs of several lengths, flexuous, long on margins. Corolla white, usually c.7-8 mm diameter, tube conspicuously longer than calyx, cylindric, lobes c.3 × 2 mm, oblong; filaments fixed between or just below scales, equal to or longer than anthers which are held wholly above scales; style c.2× calyx in fruit, stigma capitate. Nutlet 1.6-1.8 × 1.1-1.2 mm, ovate-elliptic, black.
Myosotis lyallii is distinguished by the consistently exserted anthers (i.e. located above the corolla-scales), partially ebracteate cymes, and inflorescences of less than 8 narrow-tubed flowers (with up to 3 of the lowest bracteate), decumbent lateral branches which are rarely greater than 80 mm long, and by the adaxially copious flexuous rather than hooked or retrorse leaf hairs and abaxially near glabrous leaf surface.
October - March
December - May
Easily grown from fresh seed. However, plants are short-lived and prone to fungal diseases in humid climates.
lyallii: Named after David Lyall (1817-1895), 19th century Scottish naturalist and surgeon with the Royal Navy, who explored Antarctica, New Zealand, the Arctic and North America and was a lifelong friend of Sir Joseph Hooker.
Where To Buy
Not commericially available
Notes on taxonomy
Moore (in Allan 1961) recognised at the rank of variety M. lyallii var. townsonii (previously regarded as a species M. townsonii). This variety differs from var. lyallii by its laxer growth habit; rather sparser and more widely spaced hairs on the leaves and calyx; calyx lobes cut to about half the length of the calyx (mostly one third in var. lyallii) and by the anther filaments being wholly rather than partially exserted. Most botanists do not regard these differences as sufficient to maintain the two varieties and this view is followed here. Myosotis elderi accepted by the Flora of New Zealand treatments was in the view of the late A. P. Druce merely a northerly expression of M. lyallii. That unpublished opinion requires further study.
Fact Sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 February 2008. Description based on Allan (1961)
References and further reading
Allan, H.H. 1961: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. I. Goverment Printer, Wellington.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Myosotis lyallii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/myosotis-lyallii/ (Date website was queried)