Myosotis astonii Cheeseman; Myosotis diversifolia Petrie; Myosotis tenuifolia Colenso pro parte; Myosotis polyantha Colenso pro parte
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Current conservation status
The threat classification 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) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website 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. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. North and South Islands. In the North Island from the Central Volcanic Plateau (Hauhangatahi) south through the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges. In the South Island confined to North-West Nelson where it known from the Gouland Downs south to about the wangapeka River.
Montane. Along streamsides in forest - rarely extending into subalpine area where it grows in shaded sites within shrublands and along stream banks
Tufted perennial herb. Rosettes several, vegetative laterals occasionally long and layering by adventitious roots. Rosette-leaves few, up to 70 × 20 mm, lamina broad-oval suddenly narrowed into slender petiole of about same length, tip apiculate; hairs fine and silky, scarcely overlapping, ± spreading, on undersurface slightly coarser and sparser, on margins of sheathing leaf-base longer and stronger. Lateral branches ascending or erect, 100-300 mm long, occasionally branched; internodes mostly equalt to leaf length. Stem-leaves 8-25 × 4-12 mm, becoming more narrow and sessile upwards, apiculate; hairs similar to those of rosette-leaves and fringing margin rather evenly. Cymes ebracteate, 8-flowered, usually simple; internodes between fruits usually greater than calyx in length; pedicels up to 5 mm long. Calyx 4-6 mm long, lobes about half calyx length, linear-oblong with median rib, subacute; hairs long and short, mostly on margins and ribs, more spreading and slightly hooked towards base. Corolla white, c.7 mm diameter, tube funnelform with scales at about level of calyx-tips, lobes c.2.5 × 2.0 mm, ± oblong; filaments fixed just below scales, longer than anthers and carrying them well above the scales to the level of the lobes, anthers less than 1 mm long; style greater than calyx in fruit; stigma clavate, sometimes minutely 2-lobed. Nutlets c. 1.6-1.9 × 1.1-1.3 mm.
Myosotis venosa is a little known, biological sparse species which is most frequently confused with M. forsteri (indeed so much so that Webb & Simpson (2001) state that it is doubtfully distinct from that species). Myosotis venosa grows in similar habitats to M. forsterii and both species have been found growing together, an occurrence which has led to a number of species being recognised by Colenso based on composite gatherings of both species. From M. forsteri, M. venosa is only reliably distinguished when in flower, because it is only then that the long filaments holding the anthers above the corolla-scales can clearly be seen (in M. forsteri the anthers are held at or below the corolla-scales). In their ecology, growth habit and on vegetative characters both species are very similar. Moore (in Allan (1961) states that M. venosa can be “tentatively” recognised by the slightly finer and more spreading hairs, but otherwise stresses that recognition requires flowering material. She further adds that in M. venosa the style is longer than M. forsteri and the stigma clavate. As with all indigenous Myosotis there is urgent need of a thorough revision, until this is done it would seem that the statement of Webb & Simpson (2001) based as it is largely on nutlet characters is somewhat premature.
December - February
December - April
Easily grown and tolerant of a wide range of conditions (except full sun and drying out). It grows well in a moist but free draining soil, and does best in semi-shade. Fresh seed germinates readily, and plants once established, freely set seed, producing numerous seedlings. However, in humid climates plants rarely flower, are prone to powdery mildew infections, and like many other indigenous forget-me-nots plants are prone rust infections, which make the leaves swollen and unsightly.
Myosotis venosa appears to be a biologically sparse species of the southern North Island and north-western South Island. Because it is only reliably identified using floral features it is likely to have been overlooked (it should qualify for DP under the New Zealand Threat Classification System). Nevertheless, it does appear to be uncommon, even in sites where it is well known. As its habitats are largely on public land administered by the conservation, and it occupies many planes which are weed-free and nothing is known to selectively browse it, it fits within the usual indigenous Myosotis pattern of being sparsely distributed but under no obvious threat.
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
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.
Webb, C.J.; Simpson, M.J.A. 2001: Seeds of New Zealand gymnosperms and dicotyledons. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Myosotis venosa Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/myosotis-venosa/ (Date website was queried)