Monday, 7 April 2014
Enchanted flowers: Forget-me-not
Spring is here and already dozens of new flowers are appearing. Wild flowers of many varieties cluster on the lawns, gardens, woodlands, riverbanks, parks and pathways. There are also blossoms on brambles and trees, that rain petals of honey scented confetti, and bees and butterflies swarm to them.
The common feature on the grasses in April are various blue flowers, violets, periwinkle and forget-me-nots. These flowers are the colour of the sky. As there are many flowers in Spring, and many more flowers yet to bloom, this subject shifts onto any flower, and not just about a flower that appears right now.
Forget-me-not appears in April and onwards. It's other name is Myosotis, from the Greek word meaning "mouse ears". These are small delicate blue flowers with tiny yellow centres (stars) that grow in clusters and they like moisture and shade.
The flower is not actually associated with healing properties because of rumours that it may cause illness. Yet the flower has had known healing abilities. It was said to cure a dog's bite and a scorpions' sting. It's often symbolic of love, luck, charity and remembering. Once, people wore forget-me-nots to deter witches and bad spirits.
A story about a Medieval knight walking along the riverbank near Danube. He was with his girlfriend and he tried to pick forget-me-not flowers to give to her. His armour was so heavy that he fell into the river. As he was drowning, he clutched onto the flowers in his hand and called out "Forget me not!" Forget-me-nots are linked to royalty. Henry IV had forget-me-nots as his emblem in 1398. Forget-me-nots have been used as emblems for masonry, Alaska and the Alzheimer Society.