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True Love, Forget Me Not

There is a legend about a knight in armor who is walking along the bank of a river...

Antique floral greetings post card, circa early 20th century. (Yesterdays-Paper / Deviantart)

The tiny blue forget-me-not is mentioned in a poem called “The Keep Sake” by the 18th-century English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The flower is synonymous with true love and remembrance. There is a legend about a knight in armor who is walking along the bank of a river enjoying precious time with his beautiful lady who he loved dearly. She saw some dainty little blue flowers growing right on the edge of the riverbank, where forget-me-nots like to proliferate as they thrive in moist sites. As the knight reached for the flowers to pick them for his lady, he lost his balance and slid into the deep water. Since his armor was so heavy he could not fight the current and was swept downstream and drowned. But before he was swept away he threw the flowers onto land and cried out to his lady…“Forget-me-not!” She named the flowers in his memory.

The botanical name Myosotis scorpioides is because the leaves look like mouse ears, while the clusters of flowers curl up like the tail of a scorpion. Not a very pretty name for a very pretty blue flower with such sentimental associations.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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