The much-loved, blue Forget-me-nots or Mouse Ears, known botanically as Myosotis have the ability to stimulate nostalgic memories. For some gardeners they may recall the frolicking, carefree times amid the dainty drifts of Forget-me-nots scattered around a childhood friend's rambling cottage garden.
Forget-me-nots are a wonderful ground cover for a shady area, although they will also grow in full sun. They are easy to grow and if left alone, will create a lovely blue blanket of flowers as they reseed and multiply, eventually covering large areas. The blooms last a considerable time, fading slightly with age.
Sowing: Sow in late spring to early summer
Directly seed Forget-Me-Nots into your flower garden after all danger of frost. For earlier blooms, they can be started in pots indoors a few weeks before the last frost in your area and transplanted outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Plant 2mm (1/8in) deep in good quality compost or rich to average garden soil.
Germination takes 10 to 30 days. Prick out in stages, final spacing should be around 25cm (10in) apart. They will tolerate crowding but will self seed more successfully if given plenty of space.
Provide additional water if necessary until the plants are established and are about 30cm (10in) tall.
Allow it to self-sow naturally to create a larger area of flowers next year or pull up plants after they have finished flowering to keep the population under control.
Wildlife / wildflower gardens Bee & Butterfly garden.
The genus name “Myosotis” derives from the Greek mus which means “mouse”, and otos meaning “ear”. This refers to the tiny, hairy leaves, which, if colour is ignored, do indeed resemble mouse ears.
Today, there are about 50 known species of forget-me-nots. Most variations fit the description of a light sky blue five-petalled flower that blooms in spring, but other colours have since been developed including white and pink.
This is the "true" Forget-Me-Not, not to be confused with Cynoglossum amabile (Chinese Forget-Me-Not).
Folklore: How the Forget-me-not got its name:
This European perennial is one of the world’s most-loved wildflowers, and though the little clusters of sky blue flowers are wonderful, the romantic legend of how it got its name is ever better. The plant is a streamside species, so the setting makes sense.
A medieval German knight is said to have been picnicking on the bank of the Danube with his lady love. He descended the bank to the water’s edge to gather some of the lovely blue flowers he saw there, but while he was near the water, tragedy struck. A “freshet” (flash flood) suddenly appeared and pulled the young man into the churning river.
As he was literally swept away, he tossed the bouquet to his lady on the bank with the three now-famous words: “Forget me not!”
Ever since, the flower has been associated with expressions of undying affection between loved ones.
- Additional Information
Family Boraginaceae Genus Myosotis Species avensis Cultivar Wildflower of Britain and Ireland Common Name Forget-Me-Not, Mouse Ears
Wildflower of Britain and Ireland
Other Language Names IR. Lus míonla goirt Hardiness Hardy Annual Flowers Pale blue flowers, April to September Natural Flower Time May through to August Height 15 to 30cm (6 to 12in) Spread 60 to 75cm (24 to 30in) Position Full sun or partial shade Soil Average garden soil. Time to Sow Sow in late spring to early summer Coverage 10 to 30 days.