Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Forget- Me- Nots are in full Bloom Now.

What is Forget-me-Not's native range?
Indigenous To: Europe and Asia

Where Forget-me-Not is naturalized or can be grown
Regions: All regions of North America.
Zones: 3-9

How to grow Forget-me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica)
Soil preference: Actually a waterside plant, so moisture is all-important. Rich soils.

Sun/Shade: Full sun or almost full shade. (not under evergreens.)
Moisture Requirements: A waterside plant, so appreciates plenty of moisture.

Instructions: Keep in mind that this species actually grows in the wild in streambeds and wet woodlands. This means lots of moisture, and shade tolerance. Once established, forget me nots spread happily, and wildflower gardeners love them. So try to establish them with proper conditions, and you'll enjoy them every spring.

There 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. Most Myosotis species are indigenous to New Zealand, though 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.

In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name."

The Christ Child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see her eyes. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots appeared, hence the name forget-me-not.

Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year.

In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not." It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

When bees hum in the linden tree

and roses bloom in cottage plots.

Along the brookside banks we see

the blue wild forget-me-nots.

~Patience Strong~

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