Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Tiny Mousetail - Myosurus minimus   L.
Members of Ranunculaceae:
Only member of Myosurus in NC.
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Section 6 » Order Ranunculales » Family Ranunculaceae
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DistributionMostly Piedmont and northern Coastal Plain; absent from the Sandhills proper and most of the southern Coastal Plain.

Native of western and midwestern U.S. and southwestern Canada; adventive eastward. Weakley (2018) considers its occurrence in the Southeastern states to be of uncertain provenance, though this website believes it is not native in NC.
AbundanceFormerly infrequent to perhaps locally fairly common in parts of the Piedmont and Coastal Plain, but has apparently declined greatly in recent decades; now rare to uncommon across the state. It can be very easily overlooked if flowers are not seen, but there are very few specimens in recent decades, and iNaturalist contains no NC photos.
HabitatFallow crop fields, old fields, river terraces (especially where cleared) -- often where soils are muddy.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting March-May. Seems to flower infrequently.
IdentificationMousetail is a tiny to small plant less than 6 inches tall. Slender, rather erect leaves form a tuft, with leafless, slender flowering stems a bit taller. Each stem produces a solitary, small white, 5-petaled flower; the fruits form a compact "mouse tail" that gets progressively longer.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE?
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACW link
USACE-empFACW link
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