Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Myosurus aristatus Benth. ex Hook.
- Family: Butter-cup (Ranunculaceae)
- Flowering: April-July
- Field Marks: This small plant differs from other mouse-tails by the slender beak of the achene spreading, giving the spike of fruits a jagged margin.
- Habitat: Most moist areas.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, often curved, slender, up to 3 1/2 inches long, smooth, without leaves.
- Leaves: All basal, linear to narrowly spatulate, up to 3 inches long, smooth.
- Flowers: Very tiny, densely crowded into a terminal cylindrical spike up to 1/2 inch long.
- Sepals: Usually 5, green, oblong, up to 1/16 inch long, spurred at the base.
- Petals: 5 (sometimes absent), greenish yellow, very narrow, about as long as the sepals, with a nectar-bearing pit on its surface.
- Stamens: 5-25.
- Pistils: Many, borne on a cylindrical receptacle, each with a superior ovary.
- Fruits: Achenes ellipsoid, smooth, with a slender, spreading beak that projects outward from the spike.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by small birds and mammals.
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