Myosotis capitata


Myosotis: mouse-eared
capitata: From the Latin capitus 'head', with a knob-like head or tip
capitata: Having a head, referring to growth habit

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 - RR
2009 - DP


Myosotis capitata Hook.f.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Found from sea level to 600 m a.s.l. in rocky places such as cliff faces, boulderfield and rock strewn ground, growing on thin peat soils and rock saprolite.


Perennial rosette-forming herb. Rosette usually single, sometimes several and so appearing tufted; rosette lamina linear-oblong to spathulate, 30-120 × 10-25 mm, apex rounded, ± mucronate, petiole very wide and ill-defined; lamina densely clad in long, silky hairs, spreading, upper surface hairs numerous, hairs of leaf undersides shorter and sparser, tending toward glabrescent or glabrate. Lateral branches erect, few to many, occasionally branched, 50-300 mm long, internodes < leaves. Stem-leaves many, ± recurved, upper ones sessile and oblong, up to 40 mm long, tip rounded and mucronate; hairs long, fine, spreading, crowded, especially on upper surface. Cymes ebracteate, except for an occasional leaf near base, 8-flowered, short and usually branched; internodes between fruits usually much < calyx except towards base; pedicels very short. Calyx 3-5 mm long, lobes > 1/2 length, rather broad, obtuse, nerve rather strong, hairs numerous, not hooked, silky, mostly long. Corolla deep blue, 4-8 mm diameter, tube 3-5 mm, cylindric, lobes broadly rounded (e.g. 2.0 × 2.5 mm.) and flat; filaments very short, anthers up to 1 mm long, acute, tips reaching to or just beyond scales; style > calyx in fruit, stigma capitate. Nutlets 1.2-2.5 × 1.2-1.5 mm, black, acute, keeled on inner face.

Similar Taxa

The uniformly dark blue pigmented flowers, bright green leaves and restriction to the Auckland and Campbell Island groups immediately distinguish this species from all other indigenous Myosotis spp. It could however be confused with the exotic M. sylvatica - which is commonly naturalised in New Zealand and not yet known from the Auckland and Campbell Islands. Myosotis sylvatica is much bigger than M. capitata, grows in a wider range of usually disturbed weedy habitats and the corolla-lobes of the flowers have a white base to them.


November to February

Flower Colours



December to February

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild. Can be grown from fresh seed but dislikes humidity and excessive heat. In cultivation even apparently healthy plants are often prone to sudden collapse.


Not threatened. Listed because it is a narrow range endemic of the Auckland and Campbell Islands. Some past reports suggest it is becoming less common on Campbell Island but these observations are countered by other reports suggesting that while sparsely distributed it is still common there. It is for this reason this species has been qualified Data Poor (DP).

Chromosome No.

2n = 46

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family




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 16 Apr 2014