Myosotis sylvatica L.
Myosotis from the Greek: "mouse's ear", after the leaf, is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae (or Cynoglossum family) that are commonly called Forget-me-nots. Its common name was calqued from the French, ne m'oubliez pas and first used in English in c. 1532. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.DescriptionThere are approximately fifty species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.Forget-me-nots may 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 the pod to germinate elsewhere. 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.They are widely distributed. Many Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, though it is likely that the genus originated in the Northern Hemisphere. One or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass due to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska.Forget-me-nots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew CharacterPhotographer: Talbot, Michael. Publisher: Talbot, Michael.