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Wood Forget-me-not

Myosotis sylvatica

  • Family: Borage Family – Boraginaceae
  • Growing form: Perennial herb. Also flowerless leaf rosettes. Rhizomatous.
  • Height: 20–50 cm (8–20 in.). Stem ascending–erect, often many-branched.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), 6–8 mm (0.24–0.32 in.) wide. Corolla sapphire or white (opening flower often red), fused, wheel-shaped, 5-lobed, funnel same length as calyx, funnel mouth with protuberances. Calyx fused, 5-lobed, lobed almost to base, lobes narrowly triangular–almost linear; hairs mainly straight, soft at base, short hooked; calyx 4–5 mm (0.16–0.2 in.) long in fruit, open, with carpels easily dropping. Stamens 5, filaments united with corolla funnel. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence a scorpioid cyme, becoming racemose; flowers usually without supporting leaves. Flower-stalk hairs flush with surface, after flowering around twice as long as calyx.
  • Leaves: Alternate. Lowest leaves stalked, stalk winged; upper leaves stalkless. Blade lanceolate–narrowly obovate, with entire margin, hairy.
  • Fruit: 4-parted schizocarp. Mericarps egg-shaped, glossy, without wings, approx. 1.7 mm (0.07 in.) long.
  • Habitat: Parks, gardens, roadsides, rich forests. Also an ornamental.
  • Flowering time: May–July.

Wood forget-me-not is not native to Finland, but it has established itself in the wild as far north as Kainuu, in the middle of the country. Wood forget-me-not has been cultivated for a long time as an ornamental plant in manor house, industrialists’ and manse gardens, long-established dwelling areas, and often graveyards and their surrounding areas. Additionally, it has spread naturally to nearby coppices, shores and stream banks. Wood forget-me-not is one of our most beautiful forget-me-nots – only large-flowered Lapland forget-me-not (M. decumbens) on the northern fells and one of our native forget-me-nots, large-flowered water forget-me-not, (M. scorpioides), can compete with it.

Beautiful forget-me-nots are among our most popular flowers in emblems and stories. Their innocent sky blue flowers have carried a message of love in many cultures. Forget-me-nots are known by the same name theme in many different Central European languages – they carry a wish that is aptly illustrated in its small but charming flowers.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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