Water Forget Me Nots - Myosotis scorpiodes - Western Isles Blue Wildflowers

Bluebells - Stornoway -  Wildflowers
Forget Me Nots
There are many different types of forget me nots.

Forget me nots are native to the Western Isles

5 Types on The Islands
Here in The Western Isles, I understand that there are 5 types growing on the Islands ( I shall endeavour to photograph them over time).

There is a chart further down the page to assist identification of the 5 different species

a) Water Forget Me Nots
As the name suggests, these prefer damp ground & are often to be seen in ditches, or part submerged at the edges of streams. The flowers being about 1/4 ins across in diameter. The stems are hairless

b) Creeping Forget Me Nots

These are found in acidy, peaty soils, bogs and marshes

c) Tufted forget me nots
The Sky blue flowers with yellow centres are 2-5 mm with rounded petals. The tufted forget me not has hairy stems, unlike the water forget me not whose stems are hairless

d) Field forget me nots
This type of forget me nots are slightly smaller than the Water forget me nots, being 1/8 to 3/16 inches in diameter.

As their name suggests they grow in fields on arable land and likes dryer soils

They are often called Common Forget Me Nots

e)Changing Forget Me Nots
These flowers are a little different to the other forget me not species found here in tHe Western isles, they are so called because the flowers begin life being yellow and later change to blue. This type love dry, sandy places and the machairs and their petals are not notched

The pretty sky blue wildflowers are roughly 4-10mm across and have petals that are just slightly notched

The sky blue flowers have a bright yellow centre. When the flowers are in bud, they are tinged with pink. The flowers are flat with petals longer than the pointed sepals.

Symbol of Botanical Society
These tiny flowers are the symbol of the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

Stems and Leaves

The stems which begin looking like they are creeping, soon become erect. The stems have oblong , hairy leaves on them. The leaves are a little longer and slimmer than the leaves of the other 4 species found here on The Western Isles

Common Name - Scorpion Grass
As their name suggests these flowers prefer wet, damp places, often growing at the edges of streams, frequently even partly submerged. Myosotis scorpioides (syn. Myosotis palustris), the Water Forget-me-not was sometimes called Scorpion grass because its curled clusters of sky-blue flowers were said to look like a scorpion's tail.

Water Forget Me Not.
This lovely plant , native to the Western isles grows in damp places and beside or on the edges of streams is very delicate looking.

The plant is often actually in the water itself, with the flowers just above the water.

Flowers May - August

The plant flowers from May through to August. The plant belongs to the Boraginaceae family and is a perennial.

Stem of the Red Bartsia - Western Isles Wildflowers
Click pictures below for larger photographs
Forget Me Not Comparison Chart
Flower Size
15-30cms (up to 12ins)
Hairless Longer & Thinner than Other Species Slightly Notched Wet ditches & streams 4-13mm Perennial
10-40cms) (up to 16ins)
  Soft Hairy Basal Leaves in a Rosette   Dry ground, roadsides & arable land 3-5mm Annual or Biennial
Taproot short - many branched
Creeping 15-30cms (up to 12ins) Upper stem has pressed hairs,lower stem covered with long, spreading hairs. Oblong & Oval Slightly Notched Peaty & Acid Solis - Bogs & Marshes 4-8mm Perennial - Creeping Runners
10-40cms (up to 16ins)
Hairy & Always Rounded Hairy Rounded not Notched Damp Wet Ditches & Streams 2-5mm Annual or Biennial. No creeping runners, often branched from the base. No rootstock. on more calcareous soil than the creeping forget me nots
(up to 8ins)
Hairs on Lower Stems Calyx is hairy, longer than flower stalks.Hair's on Lower Stems.   Wasteland,meadows,bogs and grassland 2mm Annual. Starts yellow changes to blue (all the rest start pink and change to blue)

Other Common Names
This plant has many common names or names which it is known by such as love-me, mouse ear, snake grass, marsh forget me not, springwort, and also the synonym of Myosotis palustris

Tale behind the Common Name Springwort

The flower is sometimes called Springwort or Luckflower - key flowers, said to have the power to make hidden doors and locks fly open and which would then lead the flower’s owner to hidden treasure.

The Spring part of the name refers both to the season and to the springing of locks.


One variation of the Springwort story is that a shepherd was driving his flock over the mountain,became tired and leant on his staff. The mountain instantly opened up to him, for his staff was made from the Springwort. Inside stood the mountain’s princess, the Princess Ilse, who invited the shepherd to fill his pockets with the hidden gold


The shepherd was pleased to oblige the princess. Just as he was about to leave, his pockets stuffed, the princess called out: “Forget not the best!” She was actually referring to his wonder-working staff, but the shepherd misunderstood, thinking instead she referred to the best gold. He left his staff against the wall of rock and began gathering up more gold. At this, the mountain clashed together and cut him in two. In some stories it is the flower which calls out, vainly, in pitiful tones, “Forget me not!”


Insects Love The Water Forget Me Not
Insects, like flies, especially aquatic flies and other winged insects are attracted to the plant. Indeed, bees love this wildflower plant for its nectar and pollen


German Folk Tales and Legends about The Water Forget Me Not
There are several tales that seem to have been attributed to this flower. In one German folk tale, its said that a knight picked a bunch of the flowers from the Danube for his loved one, unfortunately his armour was so heavy, he toppled over and began to drown, and shouted out "Vergiss meinn nicht" (Forget Me Not). His loved one never forgot the act and is said to have worn forget me nots in her hair until death. This is why In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers.

Another story or German legend has it that God was naming all the flowers, but looked like he hadn't noticed these little flowers, so one called out to him "Forget Me Not, oh Lord", and so God made Forget Me Not their name.

History and the Forget Me Not

Forget-me-nots were around at the time of King Henry IV (Lancaster), who adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398 and to have kept it after his return to England in 1399.


Wartime Use of the Forget Me Not - remembrance

Freemasons used the forget me not flower in 1926. It was taken as a symbol well known in Germany meant to convey the message not to forget the poor and desperate. Many other German charities used it as their emblem or symbol.

As the flower of Remembrance, before it became part of Canada, the Forget-me-not was a symbol of Remembrance for Newfoundland’s war dead.

Escape Nazi Persecution using the Wildflower - Forget Me Nots
Masons used it as a means of recognition in place of the square and compass design. This was done across Nazi occupied Europe to avoid any danger of being singled out and persecuted.

Literature and The Forget Me Not

In the novel by J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry Potter first meets Professor Lockhart, Professor Lockhart "...was wearing robes of forget-me-not blue that exactly matched his eyes..."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in "Evangeline"

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

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