From off her glowing cheek, she sate and stretched
The silk upon the frame, and worked her name
Between the Moss-rose and Forget-Me-Not---
Her own dear name, with her own auburn hair!That forced to wander till sweet spring return,
I yet might ne'er forget her smile, her look,
Her voice, (that even in her mirthful mood
Has made me wish to steal away and weep.)
Nor yet the entrancement of that maiden kiss
With which she promised, that when spring returned,
She would resign one half of that dear name
And own thenceforth no other name but mine!
The Keep-Sake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834
Greek botanists were the first to name the plant and called it myosotis, "mouse ear", after the shape of its leaves.
The forget-me-not is one of the more restrained flowers in the garden. It draw attention to itself only when it grows in larger clumps and forms a colorful blue backcloth for tulips and lily of the valley.
Associated with loving remembrance and true love, the Forget-Me-Not legend concerns a knight in armor and his lady. Seeing some flowers growing at the edge of the water the fair maiden asked good knight to pick them. As the knight stretched out his hand for them, he slipped and fell into the river. Wearing heavy armor and unable to swim, he was carried away down stream. But before he disappeared he threw the flowers unto the bank for her. "Forget-Me-Not!" he cried as he drifted away. The maiden never forgot her knight and named the flower Forget-Me-Not in his memory.
Another legend of the origin of the flower is that after the earth was created God went to each plant and animal and gave each a name. As God finished and was getting ready to leave, He heard a little voice at His feet saying "what about Me?" God bent down and picked up the little plant whom He had forgotten, and said, "Because I forgot once, I shall never forget you again, and that shall be your name."
Another suggestion as to the origin of the name is that the leaves taste so bad, once you have eaten them, you will never forget them.
Egyptain healers believed that if you place the leaves of this plant over your eyes during certain times of the year, you would have visions. The flower was considered sacred to he Egyptian god Thoth, god of wisdom.
In the Victorian language of flowers, forget-me-not means friendship, loving remembrance, and fidelity.
Forget-Me-Not is the Alaskan state flower.