Have you heard about the beautiful forget-me-not plant? What is it exactly? Does it last one year or more? Is it an herb or a houseplant? Is it edible? Is it poisonous to your pets? There is so much to tell about this stunning plant. Some people love it so much that they decide to make it a tattoo out of it or wear it as a bracelet. Let’s dive in the X more 12 interesting facts about this herb that might let you decide to even grow one indoor!
What is scorpion grasses? Scorpion Grasses, also know as forget-me-not, is an herb of the Myosotis genus and Boraginaceae family. This herb counts 500+ species.
Here the first confusion.
The scorpion grass should (Myosotis genus) not be confused with the Myosotidium. The latter is a genus given by only one species that looks very similar to the forget-me-not, and it is called giant forget-me-not. If you live in New Zeland is very likely that you have the giant forget-me-not and not scorpion grasses.
Where do scorpion grasses grow? Scorpion grasses grow in the wild, and it is quite widespread in Europe, Asia, North America (Zone 3 to 8), Australia. Of course, this might depend on the species, but many of the Scorpion grasses grow well in rocky soil, well-drained with little to no shade, as discussed here.
How does scorpion grasses look like? As I said before, there are more than half a thousand different species spread all over the world. Hence, if someone tells you that scorpion grasses look like in a very specific way, very likely they are referring to one of the several species (or they do not know what they are talking about).
The flowers of forget-me-not are often (depending on the species) have five petals and blue in color. You can always note a yellow circular “crown” inside the corolla (these are the anther, containing the flower pollen). Depending on the variety of forget-me-not, the flowers can be white and pink. The flowers grow in small bunches (typically up to 20) at the end of each stem.
The stems of the forget me not can be up to 1 ½ foot tall (around half a meter). They are covered in white hair (around half a centimeter long). The stems are sturdy (woody at the base) and light green in color.
The leaves of forget-me-not are up to 2 inches long (5cm) and covered in the same white hair of the stem.
The places where you can find forget-me-not herbs are extremely diverse (including your garden). If you were living in the USA and went for an excursion, it is very likely that you might have seen some of them. A brief list of areas where forget-me-not herb might grow are:
- Wooded Slopes
- Sandy soils
- Rocks Beds
Probably because of the color of its beautiful and stunning flowers, this herb has quite a few legends surrounding its quite unusual name. As you can guess, those are all related to remembrance. Not surprisingly, these herb seeds and flowers are used for funerals or tragic events. Some companies also sell such seeds in decorated packages to scatter in remembrance of beloved ones. Believe it or not, this is a meaning correlated with one of the old legends.
What are the most common stories associated with forget-me-not?
A forgetful God
The first legend around this herb tells of a God that, after creating every creature on the planet, start naming them. When he believed to have finished his job, and he was getting ready to leave, a voice stopped him. “What about me?”. Then God turned around and found a very tiny herb, claiming his attention (and a name).
The God, apologetic, decided to call this little herb “forget me not” so to not forget about it again.
Classic Myths By Catherine Judd
Catherine Judd gathered in a book called “Classic Myths,” the stories from many different old books. One such story (of German origin) tells about a young couple that was enjoying a walk on a sunny day on a field. The young lady, during such an enjoyable walk, noticed a tiny blue flower. The boy offered to pick it for her. However, this flower was on the steep edge of the river. Unfortunately, in the attempt to pick this flower, the boy fell in the river, losing his life. The last words to his young woman were, “do not forget me.” Surely, she did not forget him, and here the name of such a flower.
The Blue Eyes of Mary
This is a Christian related story. Christ, when was a child, expressed the desire that everyone could forever see the beauty of his mother’s eyes. In saying that, the little Christ touched his mother’s eyes to then wash his hands. The water that fell on the ground originated a tiny blue wildflower that was then named forget-me-not to remember the beauty of Mary’s eyes.
Adam and Eve Farewell
This another Christian related story. Adem and Eve, after being created by God, spent quite a considerable amount of time in the garden of Eden. However, pushed by curiosity, they break the only rule God imposed on them: do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. This forced God to ban them from the garden as a punishment. When leaving, a small blue flower cried out, “Do not forget me!”. Here the name of “forget-me-not.”
Is Forget-Me-Not an invasive herb? Forget-me-not or Myosotis are generally invasive herbs. Contrary to its cute aspect, this is classified as an invasive herb. Indeed, as discussed in the Weed Control in Natural Area Book, this herb has so-called “creeping roots.” Such roots, as explained in the guide of invasive plants, develop exclusively horizontally.
What to know the best part?
Creeping roots are characteristics of invasive herbs. Indeed, such roots allow them to colonize a large area of soil, leaving no space for any other herbs. That’s why they are so-called invasive herbs.
And there is even more!
Indeed, they produce a large number of seeds, and they have the capability to survive on the soil for many years. This implies that, when you get one, it is very likely that it will spread in all free soil in your garden in a few seasons.
There are several videos showing how it can be removed.
Is forget-me-not annuals or perennials? Among the 500 species (although only less than 100 officially recognized), there are perennials, annuals, and biennials.
Just to remind you, an annual herb is an herb that grows and fully develops (going to seeds, flowering and dying) in a year. On the other hand, biennials last 2 years (the first year they flower to then seeds the second). Finally perennial can last several years.
The table below, as discussed by RHS, shows the type for the most common forget me not.
|Forget-me-not specie (scientific name)||Type|
|Myosotis Blue Ball||Annual or Biennial (depending on the zone)|
|Myosotis Arvensis||Perennial (although most of the time annual as not able to withstand cold temperature)|
Is forget-me-not poisonous to pets? There are species that are mildly toxic to animals (humans included), while others are not toxic at all.
More precisely, as stated by the University of California, forget-me-not (Myosotis Sylvatica specie) is classified safe for pets. As also stated by other sources, such as forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica), is safe for birds, cats, dogs, horses, livestock, and people. This database also states the safety of such herb for tortoise and reptiles.
However, other forget-me-not species are mildly toxic as the European forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) and the broadleaf forget-me-not (Myosotis latifolia). The toxicity comes from a chemical called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that they contain. Without getting into detail (here for more), this can cause liver damage, especially in children.
But it is not over!
There are a few herbs that look like forget-me-not that, but they are not. Such herbs might be toxic! These are the Chinese forget-me-not (scientifically called Cynoglossum amabile). This is not a forget-me-not herb (although the name here is confusing) indeed belongs to the genus of Cynoglossum (not Myosotis).
Another case to be worried about is the Myosotis latifolia. This is a forget-me-not type of herbs.
You should be worried about your indoor plants. Indeed, if you never thought about this, chances are that a few of them are toxic (or slightly toxic) to your dogs. Have a look at the article below for more
As strange as it might sound, this herb can also be grown in a pot. This is not unusual as such herb is quite beautiful, especially the Myosotis sylvatica.
The only thing I would look at is to use a large enough container. Indeed, due to its creeping root system, they require more surface area than a deep container.
Such herbs can easily thrive in a normal potting mix without fertilizer for half a year. Then, you might need to provide it following the guidance of the article below.
The blue, mouse-ear shaped petals are quite well-known for their beautiful and rich blue color.
And do you know what?
Such herb has inspired many designers in creating stunning candles, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Some of them are extremely pretty, as they somehow managed to capture the delicacy of this wildflower.
Here the best pick
A bracelet from Etsy for a dozen dollars (have a look here) that has a real forget me not inside a small glass sphere. Quite delicate and gentle, this elegant bracelet suits almost any type of dress. The ideal gift to impress your spouse or girlfriend.
This is another bracelet from Etsy. The style here is different. It presents a more large frame with blue touches that reminds the petals of these herbs. It is still quite delicate, but not as much as the previous one. I like this style as well, but I would prefer (as a guy looking to a girl) the previous one. Just my preferences!
Adding a paired necklace to your bracelet is an easy win, also considering their low price. This one, in Etsy, is produced by the same manufacturer of the bracelet mentioned above. It presents the same gentle style and together is definitely a great match that, with a few dollars, make its impression.
Finally, the lost touch might be a pair of beautiful earrings. This ones on Etsy they again follow a similar pattern of a leaf within a shape. In this case, is a gold-colored hexagon and few petals are compressed in two thin glass layers.
Fancying a romantic night, and you want some forget-me-not around?
An alternative might be a glass jar candle with some forget-me-not petals inside. When the light is on, they produce some beautiful shadow and color due to the herbs they have safely placed inside. Curious? Check it out here on Etsy. It is also quite inexpensive, definitely a good value for money.
What are the forget-me-not essential oil benefits? The science behind it can be quite complex, with many studies on the topic but nothing totally conclusive.
As detailed in this study from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus University, the essential oils of the forget-me-not analyzed were found to have compounds with “proven biological properties” such as anti-inﬂammatory, antibacterial, and anti-irritant.
However, forget-me-not essential oils, as this good one sold on Amazon are, more known for their great smell than for their (unproven) health benefits. Such oils, often mixed with those of other herbs, are applied to the body, hair, face, hands, and nails to improving skin brightness and metabolism as the manufacturer claims.
Using it for a while, I can guarantee that it smells amazing, and it does help to keep the skin way more moisturized, especially during cold and dry seasons. Also, it lasts long. A few droplets are enough for a long time.
If you are looking to find some information about this herb in other languages, it is important to know how to spell and pronounce the name of such herb properly!
Here you have all the spelling and pronunciation you might need.
Italian – Non ti scordar di me – Pronunciation
French – Ne m’oubliez pas – Pronunciation
Germany – Vergissmeinnicht – Pronunciation
Spanish – No me olvides – Pronunciation
On a side note, remember that the scientific name of it (Myosotis) is not translated in other languages. It comes from the Latin word myosōtis (that means mouse ears, due to the shape of the petals). You can find the pronunciation here.
Are you in love with the forget-me-not? What about a tattoo?
Yes, many are so in love with this flower that they decide to go for a small tattoo with them. One of the cooler, in my opinion, is the infinity tattoo. This is the horizontal eight done like the roots and flower of a forget-me-not.
In this Pinterest page, you can find quite a few ideas. These are usually discrete with black and blue as the main color. They are discrete and gentle, a bit like the forget-me-not plant.
Hence, you decided to grow forget-me-not?
Well, in this case, if you have essentially three options:
- Collect an already grown plant: if you are lucky enough to live close to a forget-me-not field, you can easily take one herb from there. Be careful though
Such herbs are invasive, so it will propagate very fast in your outdoor garden. For indoor, I would not recommend such an approach as the herb might host parasites that you do not see. Those in a pot might overtake the herb quite easily.
- Buy the seeds: this is by far the best option if you want to grow forget-me-not in indoor pots. Seeds can be found relatively easily in retail shops like this one on Amazon for a few dollars. They usually take 2-3 weeks to germinate. The ideal period for them to be planted is around April.
An alternative is to take the seeds from a plant you might find on the field. The only risk is the presence of pests or viruses on the seeds that might affect the grown plant. So I would avoid those and go for seeds from retailers as safe and controlled.
Growing an herb might be extremely challenging if you choose the right growing medium. As you noticed I am not talking about soil, but growing medium.
Indeed, there are dozen of growing mediums available in the market that you can buy to grow your forget-me-not, each one with its own characteristics.
Want to know more how such a medium can affect the growth of your herbs? Hence to the article below to know all the growing medium secrets!
Are forget me not bouquet used? Yes, forget me not bouquet is used both in weddings and funeral as a symbol of remembrance
Are forget-me-not used as bereavement gifts? Yes, forget me not, as a symbol of remembrance is also used as a gift for the family of the lost ones. These gifts might be under the form of little crystal house ornament, figurine, notebook etc…
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