Myosotis is a genus of about 50 species of perennials in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe and Asia.
This beautiful plant has five petals and five sepals and is best seen from May through October. Its charming tiny flowers are mostly blue, but also occur in white and pink. Myosotis is great for garden beds, rock gardens or in containers. It will add color and texture to any garden!
The genus name “Myosotis” is derived from the Greek and means “mouse’s ear”, because the leaves remind of a mouse’s ear.
Its common name “Forget Me Not” is derived from the French “ne m’oubliez pas” and there are many legends regarding the name “Forget-me-not”.
The legend says that during medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking beside a river. He picked a posy of flowers for her, but his heavy armor caused him to lose his balance and he fell into the river. As he was drowning, he threw her the posy of flowers and shouted out “Forget me not”.
According to a German legend, when God was naming all the flowers, this flower was the last, unnamed plant. Tiny, unnamed flower cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” and God said, “That shall be your name!”.
In the language of flowers, Myosotis represents hope, remembrance, true and undying love.
Interesting facts about Myosotis:
Myosotis as the National Flower and Floral Emblem
Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska. It was adopted as the Alaska Territory floral emblem in 1917. Alaska named it as its official flower before it was even a state and it quickly was adopted by the broader population. When Alaska became a state, it kept the Myosotis alpestris as its official state flower.
Forget Me Not has been adopted by Newfoundlanders to commemorate their fallen from the First World War.
It has also been adopted by Armenia as a symbol for the Armenian Genocide Centennial.
The Alzheimer’s Society uses it as a symbol of memory loss, to raise awareness for the disease.
The plant is also the symbol of International Missing Children’s Day.
Benefits and Uses
The plant is a good remedy for eye diseases, but it has also been used for lung problems, nose bleeds and to heal external wounds.
Because of its astringent and ophthalmic properties, this plant has been used in lotions.
The flowers are usually blue, but may be pink or white, sometimes with a yellow center.
Myosotis can reach about 30 cm (1 ft) in height.
The plant performs best in rich, moist and well drained soil, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5.