Early Forget-me-not

In the spring, look out for the tiny and delicate blue flowers of Early Forget-me-not nestling on sandy cliff-top and heathland soils round The Lizard.

Photo: Steve Townsend

Scientific name: Myosotis ramosissima

What to look for:

  • Family: Boraginaceae (Borage family).
  • Flowers: Tiny blue five-lobed flowers with yellow stamens, no more than 3 mm in width, borne on stems above the leaves.
  • Leaves and stem: Hairy stem and leaves, the latter in a rosette at the base of the plant.
  • Height: Between 2 and 15 cm.
  • Where: Locally common in the UK apart from the north and west of Scotland. Found on open dry grassland and bare, sandy soils.
  • When: The flowers appear from April to June.
  • Habit: Upright flower stems, but often prostrate.

This pretty little annual earns its name because it tends to flower earlier than other species of Forget-me-not. It prefers bare open and relatively infertile soil, where there is less competition from other plants and it has the space to open its delicate small flowers in the spring. Clifftops and bare patches on the heaths are good places to look out for it.

Did you know…?

…Early Forget-me-not flowers may very rarely be white rather than blue.

…Forget-me-nots used to be worn as a symbol of faithfulness.

More information and references:

Mabey, R., 1997. Flora Britannica. Chatto & Windus, London.

Rose, F. and O’Reilly, C., 2006. The Wild Flower Key, 2nd edition. Frederick Warne, London.

Stace, C., 2010. New Flora of the British Isles, 3rd edition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Published: April 2015
Author: Amanda Scott
Photos: upper – Steve Townsend
; lower – carnifex, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons