My first encounter with the little Forget-me-not was in northern Kentucky when I stumbled across a patch when hiking with my wife. The legend of the Forget-me-not originates in France where a French knight in heavy armor strolled along a river with his love and as he stooped to pick the small blue flower, he lost his balance, and slipped into the river. His armor dragged him down and he thrust his hand high with the plucked blue flowers and yelled “Forget me not!” Another legend centers around God naming the plants and creatures of his newly created world. He turned as if ignoring the last blue flower which beckoned him – “Forget me not!” While you will never forget your first encounter with this wildflower, you might tend to confuse it with a Bluet or Quaker Lady or perhaps Baby Blue Eyes.. Her are the three for comparison.
Baby Blue Eyes is a Western US flower and occasionally shows up in wildflower seed packets as I recently learned when the larger than Forget-me-not suddenly bloomed in my wildflower garden last Summer. The Bluet is found in early Spring in wet areas while the Forget-me-not is late Spring to early summer in woodsy environments. There are over 75 varieties of Forget-me-nots (most in New Zealand) and they can be propagated by cuttings, root division, or seeds. Be careful with seeds as they are tempermental. They may sprout the same season as planted or in five years. Perhaps they wait until the ideal time, temperature, and moisture requirements are met and then sprout with enthusiasm.
So why did Alaska pick the Forget-me-not as their state flower? I have no idea and the Alaska web site offers no clue but I am glad they did. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t be enjoying these photos as some other flower would garnish the headlines. As a parting shot, here are a few more Forget-me-not views. Aren’t they beautiful? Now you, and I, will never forget the State Flower of Alaska! When is trivia night?
Today – Alaska – Tomorrow – Arizona – Next Week – the World!!!