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Water Forget-me-not

Myosotis scorpioides

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Boraginaceae (Borage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Bogs, ditches, fens, gardens, meadows, ponds, riverbanks, riversides, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Blue, 5 petals
Clustered, pink flower buds, later becoming sky blue. 5 petals with yellow and white centres.
Small, 4-parted, egg-shaped, shiny black nutlets. Up to 2mm long.
Alternate, toothless leaves with pointed tips. The lowest leaves are the broadest and the upper leaves are more linear. The leaves are covered in short appressed hairs.
Other Names:
Scorpion Weed, True Forget-me-not, Water Scorpion Grass.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Myosotis scorpioides, commonly known as water forget-me-not or true 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 growing in wetland habitats such as along the banks of streams, rivers, and ponds.

It is a perennial herb that typically grows to be 20-50 cm tall. The leaves are hairy and arranged alternately on the stem. The small flowers are typically a bright blue color, but can also be white or pink, and have yellow centers. They bloom from spring to early summer. It's a creeping plant, roots at the nodes and often forms a mat of vegetation.

True forget-me-not is a popular ornamental plant, it's often grown in water gardens, as a groundcover, or in flower borders and can be used in rain gardens and other low-impact development projects.

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.

This species is generally easy to grow and care for, it prefers moist soil, and it can tolerate full sun in cooler climates. It's important to keep in mind that it can become quite aggressive if not properly managed and will dominate the garden bed if not kept in check.


Water Forget-me-not, scientifically known as Myosotis scorpioides, is a beautiful aquatic plant that belongs to the Boraginaceae family. This stunning plant is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and can be found growing in various wetland habitats such as marshes, ponds, and riverbanks.

The Water Forget-me-not has a striking appearance with its small, delicate, blue flowers that bloom from late spring to early autumn. The flowers are arranged in clusters and have five petals that are fused together to form a distinctive trumpet shape. They are known for their attractive bright blue color, which can sometimes be tinged with pink or white. The plant also has narrow green leaves that grow up to 2 inches in length.

Apart from being a beautiful addition to any water garden, the Water Forget-me-not has numerous ecological benefits. The plant provides an important source of food for insects such as bees and butterflies, and it also serves as a habitat for a variety of aquatic animals. The roots of the plant help to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion, making it an important part of the aquatic ecosystem.

In addition to its ecological benefits, the Water Forget-me-not has several medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, the plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments such as respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. The leaves and flowers of the plant contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a useful natural remedy.

Growing Water Forget-me-not in your water garden is easy. The plant prefers full sun to partial shade and thrives in moist, well-drained soil. It is important to keep the water levels consistent, and the plant should be pruned regularly to prevent it from becoming too overgrown.

Water Forget-me-not is an easy-to-grow plant that can adapt to various water conditions. It can grow in shallow waters or in areas with slow-moving currents. In fact, it can even grow in standing water, making it a great choice for creating a natural-looking pond or water feature.

The plant is also known for its ability to self-seed, which means that it can reproduce and spread quickly without requiring any special care. This makes it an ideal plant for gardeners who want to create a natural-looking water garden without having to put in too much effort.

The Water Forget-me-not is not only attractive but is also useful in attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and moths to your garden. These insects play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to pollinate plants and ensuring their reproduction. By attracting pollinators to your garden, you are not only creating a beautiful space but also contributing to the health of the environment.

In terms of maintenance, Water Forget-me-nots require little care. They do not need to be fertilized and only need occasional pruning to keep them from becoming too overgrown. They also do not have any major pest or disease issues, making them a low-maintenance addition to any water garden.

Water Forget-me-nots are not just limited to water gardens or ponds. They can also be grown in containers filled with water or bog gardens. Bog gardens are artificial wetland environments created by digging a hole and lining it with a waterproof membrane. The hole is then filled with soil and water-loving plants, such as the Water Forget-me-not, are planted in it. This creates a mini wetland environment in your garden that is both attractive and beneficial to the environment.

Another benefit of Water Forget-me-nots is that they are an excellent plant for soil stabilization. When planted near the edges of waterways or in areas prone to erosion, the plant's extensive root system helps to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. This can help to prevent soil runoff and sedimentation, which can cause water pollution and harm aquatic ecosystems.

Water Forget-me-nots are a great plant for gardeners who want to attract wildlife to their gardens. In addition to pollinators, the plant can also attract a variety of aquatic animals such as frogs, toads, and newts. These animals can help to control pests and add interest to your garden.

Water Forget-me-nots have a rich cultural history and have been used in various traditions and legends around the world. In Greek mythology, the plant was said to have received its name when a young man named Myosotis drowned while picking the flowers for his lover. As he was drowning, he threw the flowers to his lover and cried out, "Forget-me-not!" This story is said to have given rise to the flower's common name.

In Christian folklore, the Water Forget-me-not is also associated with the Virgin Mary, who is said to have given the plant its blue color by touching it with her cloak. This has led to the plant being used as a symbol of love and remembrance.

In traditional herbal medicine, Water Forget-me-nots have been used for a variety of ailments. The plant is said to have diuretic and expectorant properties, making it useful in treating respiratory conditions such as coughs and colds. It has also been used to treat digestive issues, skin conditions, and urinary tract infections.

In modern times, Water Forget-me-nots are often used in floral arrangements and as a cut flower. The delicate blue flowers add a pop of color and texture to bouquets and arrangements, and they are often used to convey messages of love, remembrance, and loyalty.

In conclusion, Water Forget-me-nots are not only beautiful and beneficial to the environment, but they also have a rich cultural history and a variety of traditional and medicinal uses. Whether you are looking to create a natural-looking water garden, attract pollinators and wildlife, or add a touch of beauty and meaning to your floral arrangements, Water Forget-me-nots are a versatile and worthwhile addition to any garden or home.


Water Forget-me-nots filmed at Heysham Nature Reserve on the 29th May 2023, and also at Kentmere in the Lake District on the 1st June 2023.


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Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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