SK1789 : Hope Woodlands : Forget-me-nots

taken 9 years ago, near to Fairholmes [other Features], Derbyshire, Great Britain

Hope Woodlands : Forget-me-nots
Hope Woodlands : Forget-me-nots
The Forget-me-not (Myosotis) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. The scientific name is the Greek for "Mouse's ear", a reference to the shape of the leaf. The common name was taken from the French, "Ne m'oubliez pas", and first used in English around 1532. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.

There are approximately 50 species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small flat, five-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centres, 1 cm or less in diameter, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade.

Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.

They are widely distributed. Most Myosotis species are indigenous to New Zealand, though one or two European species, especially the Wood forget-me-not, (Myosotis sylvatica) have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America.

In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name." Another legend states that the Christ Child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see her eyes. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue Forget-me-nots appeared, hence the name Forget-me-not.

In 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not." It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year.

Prior to becoming the tenth province of Canada in 1949, Newfoundland used the Forget-me-not as a symbol of remembrance of that nation's war dead. This practice is still in limited use today, though Newfoundlanders have adopted the Flanders Poppy as well. Freemasons use the Forget-me-not to remember those masons who were victimized by the Nazi regime.

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SK1789, 253 images   (more nearby search)
Photographer
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Date Taken
Friday, 22 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 26 April, 2011
Geographical Context
Uplands  People, Events  Woodland, Forest 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 170 899 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:24.3388N 1:44.7092W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 170 898
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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