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Field Forget-me-not

Myosotis arvensis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, scrub, walls, wasteland, woodland.

Blue, 5 petals
5 grey blue petals, sometimes pink, slightly concaved.
Glossy, egg-shaped and winged. Starting of yellow-brown and later turning blackish once ripe.
Covered in soft hairs all over. Basal leaves are stalked. These stalks are winged. The stem leaves are alternate and stalkless. The leaves are lanceolate with an entire margin.
Other Names:
Blue Mouse-ear, Common Forget-me-not, Corn Forget-me-not, Scorpion Grass.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Myosotis arvensis, also known as field forget-me-not or corn forget-me-not, is a species of flowering plant in the borage family (Boraginaceae). It is native to Europe, Asia, and parts of North America, and is typically found in grassland, meadows, and along roadsides and other disturbed areas.

It is an annual herb that typically grows to be 15-30 cm tall. It has hairy stems and leaves, with the leaves being arranged alternately on the stem. The small flowers are usually blue, but can also be white or pink, and they have yellow centers. They bloom from spring to early summer.

Field forget-me-not is considered a weed species because of its ability to grow rapidly and outcompete native vegetation, it's often found in cultivated fields, pastures, and other disturbed areas.

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.

Control method of this plant include cultural control method like crop rotation, competition from other plants, and mechanical control methods like hand pulling and mowing. In more serious cases, chemical control methods such as herbicides may be used to effectively control the growth of field forget-me-not. However, it's important to use these methods with caution and always follow the instructions and safety precautions on the herbicide label.


Field Forget-me-not, scientifically known as Myosotis arvensis, is a charming wildflower that can be found in fields, meadows, and along roadsides throughout Europe and parts of Asia. Its common name comes from its tiny, delicate blue flowers that resemble the classic "forget-me-not" bloom, and its scientific name comes from the Greek words "myos" and "otis," meaning "mouse ear," which refers to the shape and texture of its leaves.

The plant is an annual or biennial herb, reaching up to 30cm in height, with a slender stem and small, lance-shaped leaves that are covered in stiff hairs. The flowers, which bloom from April to September, are usually blue, but can also be pink or white, and are arranged in clusters at the end of each stem. Each flower has five petals, which are fused together to form a small funnel-shaped tube, and a yellow center. The fruit is a small, flattened capsule that contains tiny, brown, kidney-shaped seeds.

Field Forget-me-nots are not only attractive, but they also serve an important ecological role as a source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other insects. They are also host plants for the larvae of some moth species, such as the Garden Carpet and the Mouse Moth.

Traditionally, Field Forget-me-not has been used for medicinal purposes. It was believed to have astringent, diuretic, and expectorant properties, and was used to treat conditions such as coughs, sore throats, and bladder problems. However, it should be noted that there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims, and it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies.

In addition to its medicinal uses, Field Forget-me-not has also been used in folklore and literature as a symbol of true love, faithfulness, and remembrance. According to legend, a knight and his lady were walking along the banks of a river when the knight picked a bouquet of forget-me-nots for his lady. As he leaned over to present them to her, he lost his balance and fell into the river. Before he sank beneath the surface, he threw the flowers to his lady and cried out, "Forget me not!"

Today, Field Forget-me-nots are a popular addition to wildflower gardens, as they require little maintenance and can provide a pop of color to any landscape. They are also commonly found in wildflower seed mixes, which can be sown in the spring or fall.

In terms of cultivation, Field Forget-me-nots prefer well-drained soil and full to partial sun. They can tolerate some shade, but too much shade can cause them to become leggy and less vibrant. They are also relatively drought tolerant and can survive in dry conditions, but they will thrive in moist soil.

One of the benefits of growing Field Forget-me-nots is their ability to self-seed. If you allow the flowers to go to seed, they will drop and germinate on their own, creating a naturalized display of blue blooms in subsequent years. However, if you prefer to control the spread of the plant, it's best to deadhead the spent flowers to prevent seed formation.

Another interesting aspect of Field Forget-me-nots is their ability to absorb heavy metals from contaminated soil. This makes them useful for phytoremediation, which is the process of using plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Researchers have found that Field Forget-me-nots can absorb high levels of cadmium, lead, and copper from soil, making them a potential tool for cleaning up contaminated sites.

In addition to their ecological and cultural significance, Field Forget-me-nots are also a source of inspiration for artists, poets, and writers. In literature, they have been featured in works by authors such as Jane Austen and William Wordsworth, and in art, they have been depicted in paintings by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Field Forget-me-nots are a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and cultural significance. Whether you appreciate them for their beauty, ecological benefits, or medicinal properties, they are a valuable addition to any landscape or garden.

One of the interesting things about Field Forget-me-nots is their taxonomy. The genus Myosotis, which includes the Field Forget-me-not, is part of the Boraginaceae family, which is known for its hairy leaves and stems and its characteristic five-petaled flowers. Within the Myosotis genus, there are over 50 species, many of which are native to Europe and Asia.

Field Forget-me-nots are not only visually appealing, but they also have cultural significance in many countries. For example, in Germany, they are known as "Vergissmeinnicht" and are a symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers. In Scotland, they are associated with the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, and in France, they are associated with the First World War.

In terms of culinary uses, Field Forget-me-nots are not commonly consumed, but the leaves can be used as a garnish or added to salads for their mild, slightly bitter flavor. In some cultures, the flowers are used to make a blue dye for textiles and clothing.

One of the challenges of growing Field Forget-me-nots is that they can be invasive in some regions. In North America, for example, they are considered an invasive species in certain states and provinces, as they can compete with native plants and disrupt local ecosystems. As with any plant, it's important to check local regulations and guidelines before planting Field Forget-me-nots.

Field Forget-me-nots have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. They are said to have a variety of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. In traditional medicine, Field Forget-me-nots were used to treat conditions such as coughs, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections. They were also used externally to treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne.

Recent scientific studies have confirmed some of the health benefits of Field Forget-me-nots. For example, one study found that extracts from the plant had anti-inflammatory effects on skin cells, which could make them useful for treating skin conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Another study found that a compound found in Field Forget-me-nots called rosmarinic acid had antimicrobial effects against certain strains of bacteria, suggesting that it could be used to treat infections.

Aside from their medicinal properties, Field Forget-me-nots are also popular among gardeners and landscapers for their aesthetic value. Their delicate blue flowers and low-growing habit make them ideal for adding color to rock gardens, borders, and meadows. They are also a popular choice for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

In terms of symbolism, Field Forget-me-nots are associated with themes of love, remembrance, and fidelity. In the language of flowers, they represent true love, faithful love, and memories. They are often given as gifts on occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, and funerals.

Field Forget-me-nots have also been studied for their potential use in alternative medicine. One study found that extracts from the plant had antidiabetic effects in laboratory rats, suggesting that they could be useful in the treatment of diabetes. Another study found that an extract of Field Forget-me-nots had protective effects against liver damage in mice, indicating that it could be used as a natural remedy for liver disease.

In addition to their medicinal uses, Field Forget-me-nots have also been used in traditional folklore and magic. In some cultures, the plant was believed to have protective properties and was used in amulets or talismans to ward off evil spirits or curses. In Celtic mythology, the plant was associated with the fairy queen and was said to bring good fortune and happiness to those who wore it.

Field Forget-me-nots are also a valuable plant for wildlife. They provide food and habitat for a variety of insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths. Their seeds are a food source for small mammals such as mice and voles, and their leaves and stems provide cover for ground-dwelling animals such as frogs and toads.

Despite their many benefits, Field Forget-me-nots can be harmful to livestock if ingested in large quantities. The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage in animals if consumed in large amounts. As such, it's important to be cautious when planting Field Forget-me-nots in areas where livestock graze.

Overall, Field Forget-me-nots are a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and many uses. Whether you appreciate them for their medicinal properties, ecological benefits, or cultural significance, they are a valuable addition to any garden or landscape.


Field Forget-me-not filmed in Coppull, Lancashire on the 9th July 2022.


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