Species: Field Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis)

Family: Borages (BORAGINACEAE)

Category: Flowering Plants

Location: NW

A. Flowering Plants

More extensive information on flowering plants can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Borages (BORAGINACEAE)

The plants in this family are noted for their being edged with coarse hairs. The flowers often start pink and turn blue, and are usually in one-sided stalked spikes, which at first are tightly coiled.

C. Field Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis)

The tiny grey-blue flowers appear in March or April. There are native and cultivated forms of this plant. They are low, short and very hairy-leaved plants that have small flowers with five blue-grey petals with yellow centres.

Forget-me-nots were worn by lovers in France (ne m'oubliez pas) to ensure that they would not forget each other if parted.

Syrups made from forget-me-nots are traditionally given for lung complaints.

The Cemetery has two types of Forget-me-nots, and we know this from surveys conducted by a botanist. There is this one, the Field Forget-me-not, and another, the Wood Forget-me-not. To the inexperienced eye, it can be difficult to tell them apart. The problem is compounded by the fact that there are perhaps a dozen different forget-me-nots in Britain (although the alpine and water versions can easily be discounted from the Cemetery), and of these there are cultivars and hybrids.

In simple terms, the Wood Forget-me-not has bright sky-blue flowers that are usually 6 - 10mm across. These are carried on much-branched stems that can rise to 45cms. They flower slightly later than the Field Forget-me-nots, from May to June. In contrast, the Field Forget-me-not has smaller, bright blue-grey flowers that are usually 3 - 5mm across. These are carried on stems that branch mainly at the base that can rise to 30cms. Field Forget-me-nots can flower from March to September.

In our experience, the important differences between the two species are the stem-branching characteristics, the height and the flowering season. Differences in colour are very difficult to use as a diagnostic feature!

Images

Field Forget-me-not

The tiny grey-blue flowers of the Field Forget-me-not have five blue-grey petals with yellow centres.

Field Forget-me-not

Forget-me-nots were worn by lovers in France (ne m'oubliez pas) to ensure that they would not forget each other if parted.

Field Forget-me-not

The Field Forget-me-not is a short plant with hairy leaves. It is quite distinctive from the Wood Forget-me-not.