The Myosotis Genus (Forget Me Not; Scorpion Grass)

Hailing from the Borage plant family, Myosotis is a genus made up of 74 accepted species, though there are easily more than 500 different names.

Some of these are synonyms of the accepted species, while others are waiting to be confirmed.

The majority of Forget Me Nots come from Europe and Asia, and New Zealand, though you can find others in parts of the Americas. 

All plants in this genus feature five petals, and five sepals, in vivid shades of blue, but they can also be white or even pink, depending on the variety.

At A Glance: What You Should Know About Scorpion Grass

A popular ornamental plant across the globe, scorpion grass will thrive pretty much anywhere you plant it, and a few places that you don’t!

In some myosotis varieties, the yellow ‘eye’ at the center of each bloom changes color.

It acts as a great big ‘OPEN’ sign to the bees and other pollinators, and once the flower has been pollinated, it fades to a beige, telling the bees that the nectar is gone.

This dainty-looking plant provides soft color and interest into any container, rockery, or border, self-seeding as it goes.  

While most species of Forget Me Not are not invasive, the true Forget Me Not, Myosotis scorpioides, or scorpion weed, is an introduced species in the US, and is aggressive.

Myosotis Name Origin

The genus name, Myosotis, is of Greek origin. It comes from the Ancient Greek word μυοσωτίς, which translates to mouse ear, describing the shape of the leaves.

Myosotis Meaning And Symbolism

Myosotis in the language of flowers symbolizes true love, an enduring love which not even death can get in the way of, grace, hope, and eternity.

They also have some links to death and funerals, too. 

To discover the stories behind the common name, Forget Me Not, and the different symbolism behind the different colored Myosotis, visit Forget Me Not Flower Meaning

Uses of Forget Me Not

The alpine Forget Me Not, Myosotis asiatica, is believed to have beneficial properties as part of a poultice, to help bind wounds.

Some species contain essential oils which are believed to serve as an antidote for some poisons, but there isn’t a lot of evidence for this.

In traditional medicine, forget-me-nots have also been used to help treat eye complaints and respiratory issues.

Some Myosotis species also have applications in the cosmetic industry, too.

Forget Me Not Growing Conditions

Forget Me Not plants thrive in well-draining, damp soil. They do well in full sunlight or shade, making them perfect for filling in any gaps in your garden.

They are particularly good at filling darker corners of your garden with color, and their dainty appearance goes perfectly against the large foliage of hostas, for example.

Most types are biennial, and don’t suffer from any pests. You may see the occasional bout of powdery mildew after flowering.

Simply pull up any affected foliage to stop it spreading to neighboring plants.

While they look lovely as single flowers dotted across your garden, planting them in clumps allows them to really stand out, with the smaller varieties providing billowing color, and the larger types offsetting any plant in your garden.

These plants are fairly robust, and seeds can be sown directly into the soil once the risk of frost has passed, and they’ll flood your garden with color in the following year.

You can also divide them if you prefer to separate existing clumps.

For more on different varieties of Forget Me Nots, how to grow them, and common problems, check out our Forget Me Not Plant Care Guide

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