Another Forget-me-not, this little annual is really quite minute and could be easily overlooked. However, when you get down to it, the tiny 5–lobed blue flowers (2-3 mm across) make the effort worthwhile. These are held in hairy clusters, each corolla tube being shorter than the downy calyx which surrounds it. The leaves, which are covered in hooked hairs, are ovate with the lower ones forming a basal rosette. This plant is low-growing, barely reaching 15 cm and, as its name suggests, is a very early-flowerer, being described as blooming from April to June. It seems to prefer dry, sandy habitats and is not widespread in Ireland, tending to appear more in the ‘sunny-south-east’ and also in a few northern locations. This is a native plant which belongs to the Boraginaceae or Borage family.
I first identified this species in Rosslare, Co Wexford in May 2019. Paul Green, BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Wexford and Waterford, kindly confirmed my identification.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre