The Forget-me-nots are flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae, grown for their long-lasting blue flowers.
There are about 50 species in the genus, and among them there is considerable variation. Nevertheless a considerable number of the species fit the same description, of a small (1 cm diameter or less) rather flat 5-petalled blue flower growing profusely on straggly stems, flowering in spring. Colour variation is somewhat frequent within species, and white or pink forms are quite likely to be seen. They are popular in gardens, and cultivated forms often show a mixture of colours. The forget-me-nots need shade, not sun.
They are widely distributed. Most Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, though one or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced in most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass.
The name was borrowed from Old French "ne m'oubliez pas" and first used in English in c.1532. Loans and translations of it can be found in most European and some non-European languages, like German "Vergissmeinnicht", Italian "Nontiscordardimé", Polish "Niezapominajka", Slovak "Nezábudky", Danish "Forglem-mig-ej", Swedish "Förgätmigej", Dutch "vergeet-mij-nietje", Spanish "no-me-olvides", Russian "Незабудки", Bulgarian “Незабравки”, Lithuanian "Neužmirštuolės", Greek "Μη με λησμονείς" (also connected to the people who died during the 1974 events in Cyprus), Esperanto "neforgesumino", Chinese "勿忘草" (wu wang cao), Korean "물망초" (勿忘草, mul mang cho), Japanese "勿忘草" (Wasurenagusa), Hebrew "זכריני" (Zichrini), Persian "فراموشم مکن" (farâmusham nakon), Hungarian "Nefelejts", Turkish "Unutma Beni" etc.
In the United States of America, the forget-me-not is the state flower of Alaska, precisely Myosotis alpestris. The Forget-me-nots are traditionally worn by Newfoundlanders on July 1st in remembrance of those Newfoundlanders that died during the First World War. July 1 was chosen because of the high number of casualties suffered by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment on 1 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.
Forget-me-nots can be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within to germinate elsewhere.
- Myosotis alpestris - Alpine Forget-me-not
- Myosotis alpina
- Myosotis arvensis - Field Forget-me-not
- Myosotis australis
- Myosotis azorica
- Myosotis caespitosa - Tufted Forget-me-not
- Myosotis colensoi
- Myosotis discolor - Changing Forget-me-not
- Myosotis ramosissima - Early Forget-me-not
- Myosotis scorpioides - Water Forget-me-not
- Myosotis secunda - Creeping Forget-me-not
- Myosotis sicula - Jersey Forget-me-not
- Myosotis sylvatica - Wood Forget-me-not
Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.