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Changing Forget-me-not

Myosotis discolor

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Fields, grassland, meadows, riversides, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Variable in colour, 5 petals
Minute, 5 petals. Creamy-yellow, blue, or a combination of both, turning to mid-blue later. Flowers curled over at the tip of the top.
Dark brown to black nutlets.
Simple, alternate, linear and entire leaves, up to 4cm long. Very hairy.
Other Names:
Yellow-and-blue Forget-me-not, Yellow-eyed Forget-me-not.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Myosotis discolor, commonly known as yellow-eyed forget-me-not, is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America, and it can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, woodlands, and along the banks of streams and rivers.

It's a perennial herbaceous plant, which forms low-growing mat or clumps of foliage, typically growing to be 10-30cm tall. The leaves are hairy and dark green, and the flowers are small and blue with yellow centers. It blooms in spring and summer. The main characteristics that distinguish it from other Myosotis species is the yellow coloration in the center of the flower, giving it the common name of yellow-eyed forget-me-not.

Like other species of Myosotis, it has medicinal properties, the leaves and flowers have been used traditionally to make remedies for skin diseases, wounds and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Cultivating Myosotis discolor is relatively easy. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and cool temperatures. It can be grown in gardens as a ground cover or in rock gardens. It can be propagated by seed or by division of the root clumps.

It's a common and widespread species, it is not considered to be invasive. However, like other Myosotis species, it can become quite aggressive if not properly managed and will dominate the garden bed if not kept in check.


Forget-me-nots, or Myosotis, are a genus of delicate and charming flowers that have captured the hearts of gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike. The Changing Forget-me-not, or Myosotis discolor, is a particularly intriguing member of this genus due to its unique coloration and growth pattern.

Native to the European Alps, Myosotis discolor is a biennial or short-lived perennial that grows to be around 12 inches tall. In its first year, the plant forms a basal rosette of leaves, which remain close to the ground. In the second year, the plant produces upright stems with clusters of small, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer.

What sets Myosotis discolor apart from other forget-me-nots is its striking coloration. The flowers start out as pink buds, which gradually turn a beautiful shade of blue as they open. As the flowers age, they change again, becoming a soft shade of lilac. This color-changing ability is rare among flowers and adds to the intrigue and appeal of Myosotis discolor.

Another notable feature of Myosotis discolor is its growth habit. The stems of the plant are not straight and upright, but rather twist and turn in a somewhat chaotic manner. This gives the plant a whimsical and naturalistic appearance, as if it is dancing in the breeze.

In terms of cultivation, Myosotis discolor prefers a cool, moist environment with partial shade. It can be grown from seed or propagated by division in early spring or fall. It is also possible to extend the life of the plant by deadheading spent blooms and providing adequate moisture and nutrients.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Myosotis discolor also has some medicinal properties. It has traditionally been used to treat respiratory ailments, such as coughs and bronchitis, and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

One of the best things about Myosotis discolor is that it attracts a variety of pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, to your garden. As a result, it can help to support the local ecosystem and promote biodiversity.

Another interesting aspect of Myosotis discolor is its symbolism. Forget-me-nots are commonly associated with remembrance and true love, and have been used in memorial gardens or given as gifts to honor loved ones who have passed away. The Changing Forget-me-not's unique color-changing ability can be seen as a metaphor for the passage of time and the changing nature of love and memories.

Myosotis discolor is also a great choice for container gardening, as it doesn't require a lot of space and can be grown in pots or hanging baskets. This makes it a versatile plant for those with limited outdoor space, or for those who want to add some natural beauty to their balcony or patio.

In terms of care, Myosotis discolor is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It prefers moist, well-draining soil and partial shade, and should be watered regularly during the growing season. It can also benefit from a balanced fertilizer once a month.

Myosotis discolor is a great plant for naturalizing in a woodland garden or meadow. It can be planted in mass or scattered throughout the area to create a naturalistic look. In addition, Myosotis discolor can be combined with other shade-loving perennials, such as hostas and ferns, to create a beautiful and diverse planting scheme.

If you're interested in growing Myosotis discolor, there are many cultivars available to choose from, each with their own unique color variations and growth habits. Some popular cultivars include 'Blue Ball', which has deep blue flowers, and 'Rosylva', which has pink flowers that fade to blue.

In terms of maintenance, Myosotis discolor is a self-seeding plant, which means that it can spread easily throughout your garden. While this can be a desirable trait in some situations, it's important to monitor the plant to prevent it from becoming invasive. You can also prevent self-seeding by deadheading the flowers after they bloom.

Overall, Myosotis discolor is a charming and versatile plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. Its unique coloration, naturalistic growth habit, and medicinal properties make it a plant that is sure to capture the hearts and minds of gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike.

While Myosotis discolor is generally a low-maintenance plant, there are a few pests and diseases to watch out for. Aphids and slugs can be a problem, especially in moist conditions. You can control aphids by spraying the plant with a strong stream of water, or by using insecticidal soap. To control slugs, you can apply a slug bait or use a copper strip around the base of the plant.

In terms of diseases, Myosotis discolor can be susceptible to powdery mildew, which is a fungal disease that can cause white, powdery growth on the leaves. To prevent powdery mildew, make sure the plant has good air circulation and avoid watering from above. If powdery mildew does appear, you can treat it with a fungicide.

One of the best things about Myosotis discolor is that it is an early-blooming plant, which means that it can add color and interest to your garden before many other plants have started to flower. This makes it a great choice for gardens that need some early-season color, or for those who want to extend the blooming period of their garden.

Finally, Myosotis discolor is a great plant for cut flower arrangements, as the delicate flowers can add a charming touch to any bouquet. To keep the flowers looking their best, cut them in the morning when they are fully hydrated, and place them in cool, clean water. Change the water every few days to keep the flowers fresh.

In conclusion, Myosotis discolor is a delightful and versatile plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. With its unique coloration, naturalistic growth habit, and early blooming period, Myosotis discolor is sure to capture the hearts of gardeners and nature enthusiasts alike. Whether you're looking to create a naturalistic garden, add some charm to your patio, or simply enjoy the beauty of this unique plant, Myosotis discolor is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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