These delicate flowers symbolize total remembrance and true love: they are heavily associated with Grandparent’s Day.
Myosotis from the Greek: “mouse’s ear”, after the leaf is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae that are commonly called Forget-me-nots. Its common name was calqued from the French, “ne m’oubliez pas” and first used in English in c.1532.
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Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Courtesy Plant Species
The Forget-Me-Not flower is a favorite wild flower of many; however, this small, blue flower has been a symbol of both love and hope, adopted by many organizations.
There are about fifty species of the Forget-Me-Not flower, a member of the Boraginaceae plant family; however, the most common species of Forget-Me-Not is that of Myosotis sylvatica, the wood Forget-Me-Not. Myosotis sylvatica has small, blue flowers with yellow centers and grows to a height of no greater than one foot.
The wood Forget-Me-Not is a perennial plant, flowering usually in the Spring. It is a wild flower which grows in shady, damp areas such as woodlands and stream beds; the wood Forget-Me-Not is found in Europe, Asia and North America, although other species of Forget-Me-Not (primarily the Myosotis species) are found in New Zealand.
The Legend of the Forget-Me-Not
There are many myths and legends attached to the naming of the Forget-Me-Not flower; a German legend refers to the small, yet unnamed plant who cried out to God, “Forget me not, Lord!”. However, the most romantic legend as to how the Forget-Me-Not gained its name is a medieval legend.
A knight was said to be choosing some flowers for his sweetheart, who was walking with him, when he fell into the river, due to the weight of his armor; the knight is said to have thrown the blue flowers to his sweetheart on the river bank crying, “Forget-Me-Not”.
Forget-Me-Not – a Symbol of Love
In the Victorian language of flowers, the Forget-Me-Not flower was interpreted as meaning faithful or true love; the Forget-Me-Not was also exchanged between Lady Chatterley and her lover in D.H. Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It is also said that in 15th century Germany, the Forget-Me-Not was worn by one lover in recognition of not forgetting the other.
Forget-Me-Not – a Symbol of Remembrance
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.
Forget-Me-Not – a symbol of North America
The Forget-Me-Not is a symbol of Alaska, as it is the state flower. 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.