Myosotis scorpioides
Common Name: true forget-me-not
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Boraginaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Sky blue with yellow center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Water Plant, Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in organically rich, consistently moist to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Grows in up to 3” of standing water. Use containers for water garden plantings in order to control spread. For streams and ponds, place new plants directly in the soils of muddy banks at the water line. Plants will spread by creeping rhizomes but are not overly aggressive. Pinch young plants to promote bushiness. Plants will self seed. If additional plantings are desired, divide plant rhizomes in early spring. Stem cuttings may be taken in summer.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Myosotis scorpioides, commonly called water forget-me-not or true forget-me-not, is a rhizomatous marginal aquatic perennial that typically grows 6-10” ( less frequently to 18”) tall on decumbent to upright angular stems. Light sky blue 5-lobed flowers (1/4” diameter) with yellow centers bloom in branched scorpioid cymes that uncoil as the flowers open. Long spring through summer bloom period. The cymes, particularly when in bud and early bloom, resemble a coiled scorpion’s tail, hence the specific epithet. Shiny, oblong to lance-shaped, bright green leaves (to 4” long). Synonymous with Myosotis palustrus. Native to moist meadows and stream banks from Europe to Siberia, this wildflower has now escaped cultivation and has naturalized in wet places throughout many parts of North America. The common forget-me-not of borders and woodland gardens is Myosotis sylvatica.

Genus name comes from the classical Greek name myosotis from mus meaning mouse and ous or otos meaning ear applied to plants with short pointed leaves, later transferred to this genus.

Specific epithet means scorpion for the flower cymes, particularly when in bud and early bloom, resemble a coiled scorpion’s tail.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to mildew and rust.

Garden Uses

Wet areas including stream banks, water gardens, bogs or pond edges. Woodland gardens near water. Will naturalize to form an attractive flowering ground cover.