Myosotis sylvatica
Midwest Noxious Weed: Do Not Plant
Common Name: woodland forget-me-not 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Boraginaceae
Native Range: Europe
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Blue with yellow or white eyes
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Wet Soil
This plant is listed as a noxious weed in one or more Midwestern states outside Missouri and should not be moved or grown under conditions that would involve danger of dissemination.


Easily grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants appreciate part afternoon shade in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Although technically a short-lived perennial, this plant is often grown as a biennial by planting seed in the ground in mid-summer for bloom the following year. It is also often grown as an annual by starting seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date for bloom the same year. Regardless of method, plants will persist in the garden for many years by freely and sometimes aggressively self-seeding. In formal garden areas (e.g., border fronts) where naturalization is not desired, some gardeners remove some flower cymes immediately after bloom to minimize self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Myosotis sylvatica, commonly called forget-me-not, is a hairy, tufted, spring-flowering plant that typically grows to 5-12” tall. Small, 5-lobed, blue flowers (3/8” diameter) with yellow or white eyes bloom in dense cymes in spring (April-May), with some sporadic and intermittent additional bloom to mid-summer. Oblong-linear to oblong-lanceolate, hairy, green leaves (to 1-3” long). Although native to Europe and Asia, forget-me-not has escaped gardens and naturalized in a number of locations in North America.

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 growing in the woods or forest-loving.


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


Bedding. Border fronts. Rock gardens. Wild gardens and woodland areas or around ponds where plants can be allowed to naturalize. Interplant with spring bulbs.