E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Myosurus minimus L.
tiny mousetail (least mousetail)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6701)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Myosurus minimus
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot; stems erect, 4-15 cm tall.
In basal clump, simple, linear or narrowly oblanceolate, 2-10 cm long, entire.
Inflorescences of solitary, terminal flowers; flower shoots 4-15 cm long, shorter than leaves when flowering, but longer in fruit; bracts none; petals none to 5, distinct, white, linear to narrowly spoon-shaped, 1-2 mm long, long-clawed, the claw 1- to 2-times as long as blade, nectary on upper surface; sepals (3) 5 (-8), green, or with narrow membranous margins, narrowly oblong, 1.5-3 mm long, spurred, the blades slightly longer than spurs, 3- to 5-veined; stamens 5 to 10; pistils 60 to 100.
Achenes, 60 to 100 or more in a spike 16-50 mm long, 1-3 mm wide; beaks straight, 0.05-0.4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet meadows, streambanks, seepage sites and vernal pools in the lowland and steppe zones; infrequent on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and SC BC; E to ON and S to VA, NC, TX, NM, AZ and CA; S Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Myosurus minimus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1231 1231 1231
Slope Gradient (%) 1 1 1
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
330 329 330
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 6 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: SBPS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Myosurus alopecuroides Greene
Myosurus clavicaulis M. Peck p.p.
Myosurus lepturus (A. Gray) Howell
Myosurus major
Myosurus minimus subsp. apus (Greene) G.R. Campb. p.p.
Myosurus minimus subsp. major (Greene) Campbell
Myosurus minimus subsp. minimus
Myosurus minimus var. apus Greene p.p.
Myosurus minimus var. clavicaulis (M. Peck) G.R. Campb. p.p.
Myosurus minimus var. filiformis Greene
Myosurus minimus var. interior Boivin
Myosurus minimus var. lepturus Gray
Myosurus minimus var. major (Greene) K.C. Davis
Myosurus minimus var. sessiliflorus (Huth) G.R. Campb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References