Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Myosurus minimus
tiny mouse-tail

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to south-central Canada and across the central U.S. to the southeastern states.

Habitat: Wet places, especially vernal pools.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, acaulescent annual from fibrous roots, the several scapes 3-15 cm. tall.


Leaves all basal, narrowly linear, less than l mm. broad, 2-9 cm. long.


Flowers inconspicuous, solitary on the leafless scapes; sepals 5, erect, 3-nerved, spurred at the base, the spur nearly equaling the sepal; petals 5, linear, about equaling the sepals; stamens 5 or 10; pistils 70-100, crowded on a cylindrical receptacle 1.5-5 cm. long.


Achene with a prominent keel and short, appressed beak less than 0.5 mm long.

Accepted Name:
Myosurus minimus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 284. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Myosurus lepturus Greene
Myosurus lepturus Greene var. filiformus (Greene) Greene, orthographic variant
Myosurus minimus L. ssp. major (Greene) G.R. Campb.
Myosurus minimus L. var. filiformus Greene, orthographic variant
Myosurus minimus L. var. major (Greene) K.C. Davis
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Myosurus minimus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Myosurus minimus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Myosurus minimus information.

E-Flora BC: Myosurus minimus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Myosurus minimus photos.

USDA Plants: Myosurus minimus information.

40 photographs:
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