Rare forget-me-nots discovered in the mountains of the South Island

Today, two rare species of forget-me-nots have been added to the Flora of New Zealand. These new species were discovered during an expedition I led to Kahurangi National Park, one of the hotspot for forget-me-nots diversity in New Zealand.

These new species, Myosotis chaffeyorum (Chaffey’s Forget-me-not) and Myosotis mooreana (Moore’s forget-me-not) are described and illustrated in an article published today in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

These new forget-me-nots are extremely uncommon. Moore’s forget-me-not is currently known from a single spot where only six plants were found. Chaffey’s forget-me-not, on the other hand, is habitat-specific and it is only found at the entrance of small caves at the base of limestone bluffs.

Moore’s forget-me-not and a close up to its flowers. Photo CA Lehnebach, @ Te Papa

Habitat and plant of Chaffey’s forget-me-not. Photo by CA Lehnebach, @ Te Papa

Because of the low number of plants and populations currently known for these species they have been rated as “Nationally Critical”. This is not unusual for New Zealand forget-me-nots and many of them are currently threatened.

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