Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Myosurus minimus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MyosurusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MOUSETAIL
Habit: Annual, short-lived, generally tufted. Leaf: basal, simple, linear. Inflorescence: scapose, 1-flowered. Flower: sepals (3)5(8), 1.5--4 mm, alike, free, green or scarious-margined, spurred; petals 0--5, free, linear to narrowly spoon-shaped, long-clawed, white; stamens 5--25; pistils 10--400, 1--2.5 mm, ovules 1, styles thread-like. Fruit: achene, angled, wall not veined, styles persistent, +- enlarged in fruit; receptacle elongate, generally growing and producing ovules after flower.
Species In Genus: +- 15 species: temperate worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: mus, mouse, and oura, tail)
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore

Myosurus minimus L.
Habit: Plant 4--16.5 cm. Inflorescence: scape 1.8--12.8 cm. Flower: sepals +- to clearly 3--5 nerved, scarious margin narrow or 0. Fruit: outer face 0.8--1.4 mm, 0.2--0.6 mm wide, narrowly rhombic to elliptic or oblong, not bordered; beak 0.05--0.4 mm, parallel to fruit surface; aggregate 16--50 mm, 1--3 mm wide, exserted from leaves.
Ecology: Wet fields, vernal pools, streambanks, lake shores; Elevation: < 2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, GB; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, eastern United States, Baja California; Europe, Asia, northern Africa. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Synonyms: Myosurus lepturus (A. Gray) Howell; Myosurus lepturus var. filiformis (Greene) Abrams; Myosurus minimus var. filiformis Greene; Myosurus minimus subsp. major (Greene) G.R. Campb.; Myosurus minimus var. major (Greene) K.C. Davis; Ranunculus minimus (L.) E.H.L. Krause
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan T. Whittemore
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Myosurus cupulatus
Next taxon: Myosurus sessilis

Name Search
botanical illustration including Myosurus minimus


Citation for this treatment: Alan T. Whittemore 2016. Myosurus minimus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2003 George W. Hartwell
Myosurus minimus
click for enlargement
© 2012 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Myosurus minimus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Myosurus minimus:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.