I’ve always loved forget-me-nots. I can’t remember when I first heard their bittersweet name but their tiny blue flowers – and occasional pink or purple variation – always stand out in a cluster of ‘weeds’.
The folklore behind forget-me-nots is unsurprisingly poignant. Once worn to represent fidelity when separated from a partner, one myth says the name comes from a man who died trying to pick the flowers from a riverbank for a lover, only to be swept away in front of her, his words ‘forget me not’ carried by the breeze.
Another says that it was the floral equivalent of last to be picked at games when the flowers were named, and its plaintive (if slightly needy) cry gave the flower its name.
Don’t use forget-me-nots for remedies as they are toxic. Instead, enjoy the way it looks. It’s also a relatively simple flower to draw or make – perhaps as an alternative to giving someone cut roses as the forget-me-not represents love and fidelity. It’s also a lovely bee and butterfly friendly addition to your garden.
If you like plantlore, myth and folklore, check out #FolkloreThursday each week and follow @FolkloreThurs.