Cute yet tough: the forget-me-not (officially called Myosotis) is a beauty that can take a knock (i.e. a cold night). The beautiful delicate flowers in blue, white or pink have a yellow eye and combine beautifully with the grey-green spiky leaves that appear a bit velvety. The biannual plant grows to 15-30 cm high, is on sale from January and then flowers until April/May. Forget-me-not combines beautifully with other early bloomers such as violas, white and blue grape hyacinths and daisies.
The forget-me-not is a herbaceous plant which is a member of the Boraginaceae or borage family. It grows in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. There are many different species, of which the most common are the woodland forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica) and the Alpine forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris). In the wild you usually see them in woodland where it’s a bit damp. There they often spread with a noticeably steady rhythm, so that they look surprisingly tidy for wild plants.
The Greek name Myosotis is a combination of 'mus' and 'otis' and means ‘mouse ear’. That name refers to the shape of the leaves.
According to a Greek myth, Zeus thought he had given all the plants are name, whereupon a small blue flower shouted “forget me not!”. The supreme god decided to make life easy for himself by giving the plant that name.
There’s also a mediaeval legend about the plant, in which a knight picked a bunch of flowers for his beloved, but thereby fell into the water and sank instantly because of the weight of his armour. Before he drowned, he quickly threw the flowers to his maiden and shouted: “Forget me not”.
Forget-me-nots have a strong symbolic value. The flower represents fidelity and never-ending love.
This garden bloomer happily self-seeds in your garden. You will encounter the flowers in the next year. It's fun to let it spread in a natural setting!