Nature table: Forget-me-not flower

There are three Irish species of forget-me-not and they are quite similar. 

Water forget-me-not grows in very marshy ground and has the largest flowers, the smaller changing forget-me-not has flowers that are cream-coloured when they first open and then change to blue or pink. The common field forget-me-not is often a garden weed.

They are annual plants and the oblong, pointed leaves and stems are hairy. Field forget-me-not is just starting to come into flower now. There are several stories about the origin of the name, which appears first in France where it is known as “ne me oubliez pas”. The commonest story involves a knight who is walking along a river bank with his lady and picks her a bunch of the flowers. Reaching for one more, he loses his balance and falls into the river where the weight of his armour starts to pull him under. Before he drowns he throws the posy to the lady with a cry of “forget me not!”.


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