Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Myosurus apetalus
bristly mouse-tail, sedge mouse-tail

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Wyoming.

Habitat: Moist areas and vernal streambeds, mostly low elevation grasslands and sagebrush, occasionally to subalpine.

Flowers: March-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, acaulescent annual from fibrous roots, the several scapes 1-10 cm. tall, exceeding the leaves.


Leaves all basal, narrowly linear, 1-7 cm. long.


Flowers inconspicuous, solitary on the leafless scapes; sepals 5, greenish, 1-nerved, spurred at the base, the spur nearly equaling the sepal; petals 5, whitish, linear, about equaling the sepals, early-deciduous; stamens 5; pistils 20-50, crowded on a cylindrical receptacle 5-10 mm. long.


Achene 1.5-2 mm. long with a divergent beak 0.8-1.5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Myosurus apetalus Gay
Publication: Fl. Chil. 1: 31. 1845.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Myosurus aristatus Benth., illegitimate name [HC]
Myosurus minimus L. var. aristatus (Benth.) B. Boivin
var. borealis – sedge mouse-tail    East side of the Cascades, British Columbia to California, east to Wyoming
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Myosurus apetalus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Myosurus apetalus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Myosurus apetalus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Myosurus apetalus photos.

USDA Plants: Myosurus apetalus information.

16 photographs:
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