Sweden wildflowers: Field Forget-me-not

Myosotis arvensis, Myosotis scorpioides, SE: Åkerförgätmigej,
DE: Acker-Vergissmeinnicht, NL: Akkervergeet-mij-nietje,
UK: Field Forget-me-not, Rough Forget-me-not

Scientific name:  Myosotis arvensis (L.) Hill
Synonym name:  Myosotis scorpioides L. var. arvensis L.
Swedish name:  Åkerförgätmigej
German name:  Acker-Vergissmeinnicht
Nederlandse naam:  Akkervergeet-mij-nietje
English name:  Field Forget-me-not, Rough Forget-me-not
Plant Family:  Boraginaceae, Borage Family, Strävbladiga växter

Flowers in Sweden

Life form:  Herbaceous annual / biennial
Stems:  erect, 10-40cm tall, hairy forb often with upper branches
Leaves:  Basal rosette, alternate, oblong with rounded ends
Flowers:  2–5 mm large, 5-lobed pale blue, flowers with yellow centres and white honeyguides, calyx with semi-stiff hairs, growing on scorpioid cymes
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August, September
Fruits:  Tulip-shaped pods
Habitat:  Farmland, settlements

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Derivation of the botanical name:
Myosotis, Greek myos, "of a mouse", and ous, "ear". Hence it means Mouse Ear, in reference to the softly hairy, small leaves of certain European species.
arvensis, arvum, field, cultivated land, plowed land; ensis, country or place of origin or habitat; of cultivated fields.
scorpioides, resembling a scorpion.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Hill is used to indicate John Hill (1716 – 1775), an English author and botanist.
Myosotis arvensis (Wild Field Forget-me-not) is common on dry roadsides, scrubby set-aside fields and other waste places. It is smaller than the garden variety (which is a cultivar of the woodland species Myosotis sylvatica), rather more untidy, and with smaller flowers.

Forget-me-not symbols:
  1. 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."
  2. Henry IV, King of England (1366–1413), adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398 (Richard II decided to banish Henry from the kingdom (with the approval of Henry's father, John of Gaunt)), and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year.
  3. 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.
  4. Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834), an Anglo-German bookseller, inventor, lithographer, publisher and businessman, introduced the literary annual, Forget Me Not (beginning in 1823).
  5. Henri Rousseau (1844- 1910), a French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner. A posy of forget-me-nots in Rousseau's hand strengthens his pledge of faith.
  6. David Herbert Lawrence (1885-1930), English novelist, in his novel "Lady Chatterly's Lover," the Forget-Me-Not was exchanged between Lady Chatterley and her lover.
  7. The Forget-Me-Not has been used as a symbol of remembrance for those who have suffered or have been lost in war ; in Newfoundland, Canada, Forget-Me-Not flowers are worn on July 1 each year in memory of those who died in World War I. The Forget-Me-Not is also worn as a Masonic symbol in recognition of those who have suffered in the name of Freemasonry, particularly during the Nazi regime of World War II.
  8. a symbol of Alaska, as it is the state flower.
  9. The Forget-Me-Not flower has also been adopted as a symbol for Canada's Alzheimer Society; Alzheimer's disease is the progressive mental deterioration of the brain, hence the Forget-Me-Not symbol of memory loss.

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