Water Forget-me-not

©Scott Petrek

Water forget-me-not

Scientific name: Myosotis scorpioides
Also known as 'Scorpion-grass' because of the curved 'tail' at the end of its stems, Water forget-me-not is a distinctive plant of damp habitats. Over summer, it produces clusters of sky-blue flowers.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 12cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

June to September

About

Water forget-me-not was once more commonly known as 'Scorpion-grass' because its curled clusters of sky-blue flowers resembled a scorpion's tail. It can be found in damp habitats, such as riverbanks, fens, marshes and ponds, either submerged in shallow water, or on surrounding ground. Its pretty flowers appear from June to September and are a favourite in traditional cottage gardens.

How to identify

Water forget-me-not has sky-blue flowers with bright yellow middles and five petals; they sit at the top of the long, curved stems in a distinctive cluster. Its leaves are narrow and oblong.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The common name of Water forget-me-not was most likely popularised by its use in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem, The Keepsake. He was familiar with a German tale of a knight who was strolling along a river with his lady when he fell in. Just before he stumbled, he had picked some pretty blue flowers; throwing them to his love, he exclaimed 'forget-me-not' as he drowned.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.