Myosotis antarctica


Myosotis: mouse-eared
antarctica: Antarctic

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - IE, OL


Myosotis antarctica Hook. f.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites




Indigenous: Campbell Island and South America


Widespread and at times locally common in herbfield, grassland, rocky places and crevices


Perennial rosette-leaved herb. Rosette leaves 10-20 × 4-5 mm, lamina obovate, obtuse, petiole short, broad; hairs on upper surface crowded, long, soft and silky, those of under-surface sparse, glabrate. Lateral branches numerous, decumbent, up to 70 mm long, occasionally branched, internodes usually < leaves. Stem-leaves similar to rosette-leaves near base, becoming sessile above, bracts c.5 × 2 mm. Cymes usually simple, few-flowered, bracteate except at extreme tip, internodes, except the lowest, very short; pedicels c.1 mm long. Calyx c.3 mm long, lobes > 1/2 length, broad and subacute; hairs mostly very long and soft, a few short and closely appressed. Corolla blue (occasionally white), 2-3 mm diam, tube cylindric, 2 mm long, lobes 1.0-1·5 mm long, ± parallel-sided, narrowing above to obtuse tip; filaments very short, anthers < 1 mm, wholly included, tips not reaching scales; style < calyx, stigma clavate. Nutlet 1.1-1.4 × 0.7-1.0 mm, ovate, black.

Similar Taxa

Myosotis antarctica is closely allied to the M. pygmaea complex (comprising M. brevis, M. drucei, M. glauca and M. pygmaea and several allied and apparently unnamed species). From these it is geographically distinguished by its allopatry - being confined to Campbell Island where members of the M. pygmaea complex are apparently not present (but see Allan 1961), and, morphologically by its usually blue flowers (though Allan 1961 notes they are typically white, Webb et al (1988) state they are typically blue) and by the hairs on the leaf undersides which are copious, crowded, very fine and silky. These characters place it closest to M. capitata (endemic to the Auckland and Campbell Island groups) from which M. antarctica differs by its mostly shorter rosette leaves (up to 20 mm long cf. > 30 mm long in M. capitata), and by the bracteate rather than ebracteate cymes. While M. antarctica is easily distinguished from M. capitata its exact relationship to members of M. pygmaea, and indeed the status of all named and unnamed members of that complex needs critical study. A part revision of the M. pygmaea complex is offered by de Lange et al. (2010) although an adequate summary of what is known of the group needs further investigation.


November - March

Flower Colours



December - March

Propagation Technique

Unknown. Probably difficult.


Myosotis antarctica is listed simply because it is a narrow range endemic confined to one small island group. As far as is known there are no threats acting on this species which occurs within a Nature Reserve and World Heritage site which has strict controls on the number of visitors each year.

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


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.

This page last updated on 17 Apr 2014