Forget me not uses

Are Forget-Me-Nots Edible: Tips For Eating Forget-Me-Not Flowers

Do you have forget-me-nots in your landscape? These annual or biennial herbs are quite prolific; seeds can stay dormant in the soil for up to 30 years, when on a whim they decide to germinate. Have you ever wondered “can I eat forget-me-nots”? After all, there are sometimes hundreds of the plants, or at least there are in my yard. Read on to find out if forget-me-nots are edible.

Can I Eat Forget-Me-Nots?

Yes, they are pretty with their sprays of tiny blue flowers, but I get so many of them invading the gardens, I tend to pull them out. I’m talking about ornamental forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica). Turns out, maybe I should think about harvesting and eating forget-me-not flowers because the answer to ‘are forget-me-nots edible’ is yes.

About Edible Forget-Me-Nots

Ornamental forget-me-nots (M. sylvatica) are indeed edible. They grow in USDA zones 5-9. If you are sure that no pesticides have been used, they add nice color to salads or even baked goods and make excellent candied blossoms. That said, they do contain some pyrrolizidine, a mildly toxic chemical that, if ingested in any great quantity, can cause harm. M. sylvatica species are really the most edible of the forget-me-nots and will likely cause no problems with either children or pets ingesting them.

However, another variety, called the Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile) and the broadleaf forget-me-not (Myosotis latifolia) are considered mildly toxic to grazing animals eating these types of forget-me-nots. Chinese forget-me-not, also called hound’s tongue for its fuzzy leaves, is not actually a forget-me-not but rather a look alike. Both plants grow up to 2 feet (61 cm) in height, are considered invasive in some states and are common pasture weeds found in USDA zones 6-9.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.

The Forget-me-nots are the genus Myosotis of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae. It is known for its beautiful bright purple flowers.The name was borrowed from Old French “ne m’oubliez pas” and first used in English in c.1532. Loans and translations of it can be found in most European and some non-European languages.

Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted “Forget-me-not”. This is a flower connected with romance and tragic fate. It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

Other names: Scalavender, Myosotis scorpioides

Forget Me Not Flower Tea is a caffeine-free tea. It helps to reduce high blood pressure, smoothes the nerves and promotes restful sleep. It also promotes skin beauty and drank for slimming purposes.

The forget-me-not contains abundant vitamin C that can help to reduce the chances of growing wrinkles and freckles.

Herbalist doctor’s viewpoint

Its good for eyes, detoxification, restore better skin, nourishing blood, increase body metabolism, improve immune function, anti-virus, and anti-cancer.

Its good for liver, beauty whitening, and also the elimination of freckles and acne.

Its also help to delay cell aging, improve immunity and metabolism, can effectively adjust the woman’s menstruation problems, is a healthy drink of choice for women.

Inspiration

Photographs, unless otherwise noted, are by Marjorie Tudor.

Such a generous and happy spirit is the forget-me-not; a biennial, it seeds freely in anticipation of the next year’s bloom. “Once you’ve got them, Tasha told me, “you will keep them.” And, of course, she knew what she was talking about. Forget-me-nots are easy to grow and they are beautiful. They bloom for about a month in six to twelve inch tall stalks, sometimes white or pink scattered within the blue. The flowers are small and collect in clusters atop the stalks and there are lots of them.

Forget-me-nots are tough and will survive in zones 3 – 8. Blooming period wanes with the arrival of early summer’s heat, seeds ripen quickly and late summer/early fall brings a show of small seedlings. These seedlings quickly grow into sturdy plants and will overwinter to bloom the following spring. I should mention, too, the less common forget-me-not, M. scorpioides, which thrives in boggy areas. They flower over a longer period, often through much of the summer, but are not as showy.

Little spring bouquet, featuring forget-me-nots! Illustration by Tasha Tudor from Tasha Tudor’s Garden.

Forget-me-nots (M. sylvatica) prefer cool, moist homes with some shade, but they can survive in hot sun if the soil does not dry out. If you live in southern states, you absolutely must plant them in shade and give them extra moisture if the soil is apt to dry out.

Because myosotis sylvatica are biennials, they die after flowering and dry up. This is not their finest hour. It can be hard to resist the temptation to pull the plants up before seeds set, but if you do, next spring’s glory will forsake you. Tasha never found this stage at all disturbing and rejoiced to know the blue would come back after winter passed to reveal the fresh, clear green of new plants. And too, remember that when forget-me-nots look their worst, many perennials and annuals are just coming into bloom. So, be patient with this brief period of disarray and you will be rewarded.

When the time was right, and the seeds had set, some having fallen upon the ground beneath, Tasha would go about with armloads of dried up forget-me-not plants, scattering the hard, black seeds here and there, preparing her artist’s pallet in anticipation of the coming spring.

*Note: We do harvest and hand-pack a small quantity of seeds from Tasha’s garden and offer them for sale. Visit the Tasha’s Secret Garden section of our website for gardening booklets, scarves, artwork, and more!

Luontoportti

Field Forget-me-not

Myosotis arvensis

  • Name also: Common Forget-me-not
  • Family: Borage Family – Boraginaceae
  • Growing form: Annual or usually biennial, sometimes perennial herb. Taproot short, many-branched.
  • Height: 10–40 cm (4–16 in.). Stem ascending–erect, usually branched, round–slightly angular, hair usually growing upwards flush with stem.
  • Flower: Regular (actinomorphic), 3–4 mm wide. Corolla blue, fused, funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, protuberances in throat of tube. Calyx fused, campanulate (bell-shaped), 5-lobed, lobes narrow; hairs at base spreading and hook-tipped, flush with calyx at tip, matted; calyx 3–5 mm (0.12–0.2 in.) long in fruiting stage, usually closed, falling with fruit. Stamens 5, filaments fused with calyx-tube. Gynoecium fused, single-styled. Inflorescence a scorpioid cyme, extending to become racemose; all flowers without subtending bracts. Flower-stalk hair almost flush with surface, after flowering approx. 2 times as long as calyx.
  • Leaves: Basal leaves stalked, stalk widely winged. Basal leaves usually withered by flowering time. Stem leaves alternate, stalkless. Leaf blade lanceolate–oblanceolate, with entire margin, both sides hairy.
  • Fruit: 4-parted schizocarp. Mericarps egg-shaped, glossy, narrowly winged, initially yellowish brown, when ripe almost black, 1.5–2 mm (0.06–0.08 in.) long.
  • Habitat: Fields, waste ground, gardens, yards, meadows, rocky outcrops.
  • Flowering time: (May–)June–September.

Field forget-me-not is usually an annual or biennial herb. Its success is based on its flexibility. The seeds can wait in the soil for a suitable time to sprout for up to 30 years and germinate when conditions become favourable. Field forget-me-not’s flowers are pollinated by small flies and hymenopterans, and if needs be the plant can also self-pollinate to ensure its seed production. The plant often spreads via the whole calyx, which has hooked hairs that can catch on to animal fur or people’s clothes and carry it to new habitats. Field forget-me-not is happy on different kinds of soil and can be spotted as often on rocky outcrops as in vegetable gardens, where it can be a nuisance weed for farmers and gardeners alike.

It is not always easy to classify the forget-me-nots in their correct species. Important identification markers are e.g. the relative dimensions of the flower, the form of the calyx and its hairiness. Field forget-me-not can be most easily differentiated from early forget-me-not (M. ramosissima) and strict forget-me-not (M. stricta) by its fruit-stalk, which is up to twice the length of the calyx, and also its larger size. When it is not flowering, field forget-me-not can also be confused with field mouse-ear (Cerastium arvense), whose leaves are however opposite one another.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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The Forget-Me-Not flower is one of the most beautiful flowers that exist. They produce hundreds of small flowers with amazing colors of blue, pink, white and yellow. They attract butterflies and bees and you can place them anywhere you like in your garden, your house, wherever you want to.

Below we are going to give you most accurate tips on how you can plant, care and grow this marvelous flower and the varieties and benefits that it has. First of all, we are going to see what the name of Forget me not flower means.

Forget Me Not or Forget-Me-Not meaning

This beautiful flower apart from being marvelous it has a special meaning too. This plant belongs to the genus of Myosotis. Myosotis is a Greek word and its meaning is the mouse’s ear. It took this name due to the shape of the small petals.

Forget-me-not flower came first from the German word Vergissmeinnicht and it was used in English in the AD 1398. Nowadays, people from all over the world use a similar phrase to describe this flower.

This flower has been connected with the meaning of true and undying love, with the affection between two people, with loyalty and memories that you created with your loved one even though you might be far away from one another. It has also been used to honor the American – G e n o c i d e.

Also, it’s been connected with the patients of the Alzheimer’s disease and in general with caring for the people who need help. The myth of this flower talks about 2 lovers that were walking along the Danube River, in Germany.

The knight offered flowers to the lady and because his armor was heavy he fell in the river and was swept away and told her not to forget him. This is how this flower was connected with the symbol to never forget.

Types

There are many and different types of forget me not flower. Some of them are:

  • 1. The forget-me-not white flower
  • 2. The forget-me-nots sylvatica
  • 3. The true forget me not
  • 4. The alpine forget me not
  • 5. The broadleaf forget-me-not

All these varieties belong to the Myosotis family. The flowers have 5 petals and sepals and have different colors. Some of them are blue, white, pink, and yellow. You can choose and plant more than one in your garden. Let’s analyze these types:

Forget-me-not White

The forget me not white flower produces beautiful white flowers that have a height of 25cm. When you plant it make sure that the depth will be from 4 to 6mm. The space between the seeds should be from 30 to 40cm.

The white variety needs full sun in order to grow and well drained and fertilized soil. The best season to plant it would be late summer and early autumn, it’s up to you. When you plant them either in summer or spring they will produce the flowers the following spring.

1. Forget-me-not Sylvatica

Sylvatica is a hairy hardy. It produces small flowers of blue, white and yellow flowers. The flowers will grow during the mid-spring and summer. This variety needs partial shade. The soil must be moist and well-drained. It can grow from 12 to 30cm tall and 15cm wide. It grows best in USDA zones from 5 to 9.

2. True Forget-me-not Flower

The True forget me not flower is a tall flower. It can reach from 15 to 60cm. The flowers have blue color and the centers are yellow. They create clusters along the branches. The soil should be moist and well-drained too.

3. The Alpine Forget-me-not Flower

The Alpine variety is the state flower of Alaska and the country flower of Westmorland, UK. Even though the flowers look exactly like the forget me not flower they are different because they are shorter, 6 inches high.

The flowers can grow perfectly both in partial shade and in full sunlight. It could be annual or biennial and its color can be blue, pink and white. The soil has to be moist and well-drained as we have mentioned before.

4. Broadleaf Forget-me-not Flower

The Broadleaf forget me not flower or else myosotis latifolia can grow in different types of habitat. It can grow in moist and shaded areas. Its height can be more than 1 meter. Finally, the flowers can have pink and blue color.

5. Forget me not Seeds

When you plan to plant forget-me-not flower seeds you should have the following things in mind. First of all, the soil should be well worked, it should have good drainage and of course organic matter.

You will plant your seeds in a place where there will be partial shade because you don’t want them to be exposed to the sunlight the whole time. A good idea would be to start growing them inside your house in a pot and when the spring comes transfer them to the soil.

If you sow them outdoors plant the seeds 1 to 1/8 of the soil. Try to keep the soil moist and the seeds will start to germinate from 8 to 14 days. When you plant them make sure to leave 10 inches between them.

Planting the Seeds

Before you plant your seeds you should test the soil (or you can buy a cheap and accurate soil pH Tester) of your garden. The pH of the soil should be from 5.5 to 7.5. Also, you should water the soil so as to be moist. A good thing would be to add mulch in order to protect the forget-me-not flower. Place the mulch from 2 to 3 inches so as to help the seeds remain moist and to germinate. The temperature will be preserved too.

If you are going to plant the seeds in a pot you should follow these tips. Select a pot that has drainage holes. Even though the this flower needs to be moist it shouldn’t rot. That’s why the pot apart from the holes should have a tray too.

You could also use compost for the soil. The pH should be the same as the one that we mentioned before 5.5 to 7.5. When you plant the seeds in the pot don’t add too many seeds because if you do they won’t have enough space to grow and mildew might appear.

The best temperature for would be from 18 to 21°C. If you keep it in this temperature then the flower will germinate from 1 to 4 weeks. In this way, you will know that is warm and not hot.

Care

Caring for the forget-me-not flower is also important. The first thing that you need to do is to keep the soil moist, don’t let it dry or the plant won’t grow in the way that it should. You should also fertilize it. Fertilize it once every spring. You could use an all-purpose granular fertilizer but don’t overdo it.

If you have them in your garden then add up to 4 inches mulch. If you add it you will give extra protection to the plant because the mulch traps the moisture. What you should do next is to trim the unnecessary flowers. If you do that then remove the unwanted flowers from the stem.

Finally, you should control the pests and diseases. A good way to control unwanted pests would be to spray water on the plants. If the aphids appear and you water it then the aphides will fall down or else use an insecticidal soap spray in the plant.

If you find holes in the plants, that might be due to flea beetles. The flea beetles are quite small, and they have different colors. What they do is to chew the leaves and create holes on them. If you don’t want them to appear then you should remove unwanted weeds, and also use insecticides and Neem oil.

Benefits

Forget-me-not flowers cam be edible, especially the Sylvatica variety that we mentioned above. If you haven’t used chemicals then you can add them to your salad or make candies with them. Not all varieties are edible some are toxic like the broadleaf and the Chinese forget me not. Be very careful and always check.

You can also make your own tea. It is a well-known variety of purple flowers and it is caffeine-free. When you drink this tea the blood pressure will be reduced, it can also help you relax and sleep well. Finally, you if you are on a diet you can drink it to help you have a balanced diet. Use the Sylvatica variety.

Forget me not can be used as a herbal medicine too. It can be used to stop the bleeding (use it externally), as a remedy for eye conditions, it also cures nosebleeds, it improves lung, stomach and kidney functioning. It is used in medicines for years. Ask your doctor for advice, he or she knows better.

This Lovely Flower has benefits too. You should be careful though because not all the varieties can be used. You will choose the variety or varieties that you like best and have them in your house and garden.

The only thing that this flower need is to have moist and well-drained soil. Follow our tips and you will have a garden full of amazing forget me not flowers that will have a special meaning for you.

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Forget-Me-Not Salve
Have Visions on August 27th with the Vision Salve

by Jeanne Rose

Forget-Me-Not — Jeanne’s flowers©

The Salve by Jeanne Rose:

(general Salve formulas are listed in depth in the Herbal Studies Course and flower salves in the AROMAtherapy Studies Course)

A March event. Using only what I had available and choosing the smallest pan I had, a 1-cup stainless steel pot, I packed it with Forget-Me-Not flowers, as well as a few Meyer Lemon flowers and four Comfrey flowers. Then I added Camellia oil (any oil would do) to just cover the flowers. I put this on the stove at the lowest heat and heated until small bubbles were coming up. Then it was cooled, reheated, cooled, reheated and cooled. I put a strainer over 1-cup size glass jar, lined the strainer with tightly woven muslin (silk or tight mosquito cloth), and poured the pot contents into the strainer. The clear golden, fragrant oil came through. Then I grated flower wax from a bar of Mimosa flower wax (any floral wax will do or beeswax). I used about 4 cup floral wax, placed that in the small pot, added half of the strained oil, and heated it gently until the floral wax was melted. Finally, I added the two together, stirred it and let it sit.

This is just as easy as it can be. I now have a cup of softly fragrant, flower salve. I can use this as an application to dry hands or for magic such as in August, I can use it as an eye salve on August 27 after a walk through the garden to see if I can have any visions.

We make and talk about Salves and Bruise Juice and Calendula oil in the Herbal Classes of June.

Salve #2
On Midsummer’s Eve day at 10 am on 6/20/05 [Solstice is at 11:45 pm tonight); I gathered flowers of Forget-me-Not and flowers of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and one juicy leaf of Comfrey as well as a Blue Malva flower. These were all put into the one-cup size stainless steel pot and 3/4 cup Camellia oil added to soak. IT was heated, cooled, heated, cooled, until all the liquid of the plants was gone. The herbs were strained out and 1/4 cup grated Blue Lotus wax added. Then the salve was heated gently, cooled slightly, added 8 drops of old Frankincense, stirred and poured into 16 1/2 ounce tins. Cool. This pale blue salve can be used on August 27 or any holy day for awareness and to expand consciousness.
Many Salve recipes are listed in Jeanne Rose Books and the products including Special Salves on the product page of the website.

Visions & Mystery. August 27 is St. Monica’s Day. It is also a day of visions using the Forget-Me-Not. In Kull’s book, The Secret of Flowers, he says “…If one takes a sojourn in Egypt near the 27th day of their month Thoth (which is near to our month of august), and he anoints his eyes with the flower Forget-Me-Not, he will be made to see visions…” This is interesting because the Forget-Me-Not is not native to Egypt. However, in the hopes that I would see visions, on May 28, 2005 just at the end of the Forget-Me-Not season here in San Francisco, I made a salve of the flowers.

Magic is just science not yet known and magic can be studied in the Ritual is a Magical Experience and the Ritual class on June 21

Research on the Forget-Me-Not

Background and Botany:
True Forget-me-not is Myosotis scorpioides (Myosotis palustris). The Family is Borage, the Boraginaceae. The habitat is wet places and along streamsides.
• Height: 6-24 inches • Flower size: 1/4 inch across
• Flower color: blue with a yellow center
• Flowering time: March to October. The origin of this wonderful flower is Europe and Asia.

The forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica, bears tiny, delicate blossoms on thin stalks. It grows abundantly along shady streams and is cultivated as a border plant and under trees in gardens. This flower is also Alaska’s state flower. Forget Me Not Myosotis alpestris is the alpine forget-me-not. It was chosen in 1949. The alpine forget-me-not is a perennial that grows 5 to 12 inches high in alpine meadows. The flowers have five connected salviform petals, colored sky blue, that is a quarter to a third of an inch wide. They have a white inner ring and a yellow center. The best time to see the alpine forget-me-not in Alaska is midsummer, from late June to late July. In addition to finding the Myosotis alpestris, botanists in Denali National Park might also come across the mountain forget-me-not (Eritrichium aretiodes) and the splendid forget-me-not (Eritrichium splendens). http://www.50states.com/flower/alaska.htm

General Characteristics: The Forget-me-not flower has five, bright blue, regular petals that surround a yellow center. The flower is 1/2″ wide. The flowers grow near the end of the stem, each having its own short stalk off the main stem. When the plant first emerges, the stem is curled at the end; when the flowers begin to bloom the stem uncurls. The stem grows 6″-12″ high. The simple leaves grow in an alternate pattern along the stem. Leaves are lance-shaped and are 1-2″ long. Both the leaves and stem are covered in fine hair. Forget-me-nots grow in mats with a widespread root system.

Plant Lore and Old Uses: There are four species of Forget-me-nots. There are native and non-native species, but the Myosotis scorpioides is from Europe. It escaped from gardens and found suitable habitat. The plant’s scientific name and common name have several interesting theories on their origin. The scientific name, Myosotis, means mouse ear, which describes the size and shape of the petal. Its species name, scorpioides, and the common name “Scorpion Weed”, are from the coiled plant stem that resembles a scorpion tail. This appearance led people to believe this flower was a remedy for scorpion stings; however, this claim has never been validated. The common name may have originated from an unpleasant edible experience that was hard to forget (these plants taste bad), or may have a more heartfelt meaning.

It is said that whomever wore this flower would not be forgotten by his or her lover. There are two stories that illustrate the flower’s significance among lovers and explain the common name, although both have tragic endings. In the first story, a suitor was picking this flower for his love and saw the perfect specimen. It was close to the cliff’s edge but he reached for it anyway. Losing his balance, the man plummeted over the cliff, shouting, “Forget me not!” as he fell. The second story originates in Germany. A knight and his lovely lady were walking along a riverbank. He was picking this flower for her when he tripped and fell into the river. Before he went under he threw the small bouquet to her and shouted “vergiss mein nicht”, the German name of the flower.

Modern Uses of this Plant: The Forget-me-not is used today in gardens and along walkways… http://www.laurentiancenter.com/plantkey/plants/forgetmenot.html. I love the flower and plant it extensively in my garden, everywhere. It blooms and blooms throughout March, April and May. Then it reseeds itself for another blooming and for the next year. I harvest the flower in March for the Equinox and to make a salve for visions in August. I have never had visions but the salve is very soothing and nice on the skin.

History & Freemasonry…In early 1934, soon after Hitler’s rise to power, Freemasonry was in danger. In that same year, the “Grand Lodge of the Sun” (one of the pre-war German Grand Lodges, located in Bayreuth) realizing the grave dangers involved, adopted the little blue Forget-Me-Not flower as a substitute for the traditional square and compasses. It was felt the flower would provide brethren with an outward means of identification while lessening the risk of possible recognition in public by the Nazis, who were engaged in wholesale confiscation of all Masonic Lodge properties. Freemasonry went undercover, and this delicate flower assumed its role as a symbol of Masonry surviving throughout the reign of darkness. During the ensuing decade of Nazi power a little blue Forget-Me-Not flower worn in a Brother’s lapel served as one method whereby brethren could identify each other in public, and in cities and concentration camps throughout Europe. The Forget-Me-Not distinguished the lapels of countless brethren who staunchly refused to allow the symbolic Light of Masonry to be completely extinguished.

When Past Grand Master Beyer reopened the ‘Grand Lodge of the Sun’ in Bayreuth in 1947, a little pin in the shape of a Forget-Me-Not was officially adopted as the emblem of that first annual convention of the brethren who had survived the bitter years of semi-darkness to rekindle the Masonic Light. It meant do not forget the poor and the destitute…
http://www.bessel.org/forgnot.htm

Thus did a simple flower blossom forth into a symbol of the fraternity, and become perhaps the most widely worn emblem among Freemasons in Germany; http://www.bessel.org/forgnot.htm

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Forget-Me-Not

Uses for the Forget-Me-Not Flower

Even though the Forget-Me-Not is a small flower, it has a lot of meaning to it. It is a beautiful flower and it has a lot of great history to it. Although it really isn’t a great flower for creating bouquets with it may be good to have a little bit of it to add some color to use bits and pieces of it in boutonnieres and corsages. These are all great uses for the Forget me not. Otherwise, the meaning is what people really enjoy. This is a flower of remembrance that actually is used by nations as a symbol of those that they have lost at war. The Freemasons also used the Forget me not to remember their fellow masons that were victims of the Nazi regime, there are a lot of deeper meanings to this flower.

Why do people plant the Forget-Me-Not Flower?

For the most part, the forget me not grows in a lot of different places. Today, you will find a lot of them growing throughout wetlands and throughout riverbanks. The thing with the forget me not is that you really can’t overwater them, they are pretty resilient, so you will be able to grow them and not worry about a lot of drainage issues, they actually thrive in that setting. Also, you will find that they do need partial sun and are actually ok in the shade, it will help them grow to the best that they can and give you the beautiful flower that you want.

Spring is here, and my garden is overflowing with edibles! Yes, it has lettuce and rhubarb and asparagus, but the best-kept seasonal menu secret is the flowers. After a long winter of dreary greens and veggies shipped from halfway around the world, I am ready for something fresh, local and unique. Luckily, lots of flowers are edible.

I have mounds of violets in my yard. They are such good “volunteers” I have to pull some out; they are almost weeds! My favorite use for the purple blossoms is adding them to salads. Nothing tells the story of spring quite like a salad with violets.

I also pour boiling water over them and make them into the most fragrant violet jelly you can imagine. You can also “candy” violets, coating them with sugar. Take a look at a fancier grocery store; candied violets are about $200 a pound, but you can make them in just a few minutes. Or you can candy forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and the white blossoms of sweet bedstraw (Galium triflorum), which hold nectar.

Other salad ideas: Tear up the puffy purple blossoms from chives, which are opening right now, for a subtle oniony flavor. Pull off light purple rosemary blossoms to add a piney tang. Add a bright magenta kick with red flowering currant blossoms (you can taste the sweet nectar inside every bud). Sprinkle a salad with calendula, the spiky yellow flower that resembles a dandelion. Calendula is sometimes called “poor man’s saffron,” and it adds a peppery taste, as do nasturtium leaves and flowers.

There is a long list of flowers you shouldn’t eat. Here is just a sample: azalea, crocus, daffodil, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, jack-in-the-pulpit, lily of the valley and wisteria. If you aren’t sure, check it out on the Internet. Eat flowers you know have not been sprayed with pesticides and, of course, eating flowers is not a good idea if you have hay fever or allergies. The pollen of some flowers can cause allergic reactions.

Violet green salad

2-3 cups of mixed spring lettuces, spinach, early beet greens, dandelion leaves

½ diced cucumber

1 cup snap peas or frozen peas

½ cup of goat cheese mixed with chive flowers (optional)

½ cup unsalted almonds or hazelnuts

1 pear, diced

20-50 blooms: violets, rosemary flowers, calendula, flowering currant, etc.

Tear lettuces and greens into bite-size pieces. Cut cucumber into disks, then quarter.

Cut snap peas in pods into thirds. If using frozen peas, thaw at room temp for half an hour. Dice pear and add to lettuce. Mix goat cheese with chive flowers if you have some, then cut or portion into ½ inch pieces and scatter over salad with nuts and flowers. Serves 4.

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories: 212, Carbohydrates: 11 grams, Protein: 11 grams, Sodium: 127 milligrams

Violet green salad dressing

¼ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt

¼ cup pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

1 teaspoon mustard

Pinch of allspice

Mix all together in food processer or blender.

Nutritional information (per 2-tablespoon serving):

Calories: 119, Carbohydrates: 6 grams, Protein: 3 grams, Sodium: 10 milligrams

The information in this column is meant for people who want to keep their kidneys healthy and blood pressure down by following a low-sodium diet. In most cases, except for dialysis patients, a diet high in potassium is thought to help lower high blood pressure. These recipes are not intended for people on dialysis without the supervision of a registered dietitian.

Katy G. Wilkens is a registered dietitian and department head at Northwest Kidney Centers. The 2013 recipient of National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition’s Susan Knapp Excellence in Education Award, she has a Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. See more of her recipes at www.nwkidney.org.

Don’t Forget About Forget-Me-Nots

Myosotis derives its name from the shape of the foliage, which resembles a mouse’s ear. This genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae includes a variety of shrubs, trees, and herbs totaling about 2,000 species in 146 genera. They are known as forget-me-nots and scorpion grass in the northern hemisphere. The colloquial name comes from the German and is thought to have first been used in AD 1398 by King Henry IV of England. Similar names can be found in many languages. The plant is often confused with Chatham Islands Forget-Me-Nots which belong to the related genus Myosotidium.

How To Identify The Plant

The genus name comes from the classical Greek word myosotis, mus meaning mouse and ous or otos meaning ear. The name designates plants with short, pointed leaves. Silvatica means growing in the woods, forest-loving.

Myosotis species have 5 flowers, each having 5 sepals and petals. Flowers are typically 1 cm or less in diameter. They are flat, blue, pink, white, or yellow with yellow centers and are born on cymes. Flowering typically occurs in the spring. They can be grown as either annuals or perennials. The foliage is alternate; roots are generally diffuse. The seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem. The pods attach to clothing and animal fur, eventually fall off where the small seeds inside then germinate elsewhere. Collect seeds by placing a sheet of paper under the stems and shaking the seed pods onto the paper.

North American Varieties

Although native to Europe and Asia, the plant escaped gardens and naturalized in a number of locations in North America. More than 500 species names have been recorded, but only 74 are currently accepted. The remainder are considered either synonyms or proposed names. The genus is largely restricted to western Eurasia (60 confirmed species) and New Zealand (approximately 40 confirmed species). A scarcity of species occurs elsewhere including North and South America. Despite this, Myosotis species are now common throughout temperate regions because of the introduction of cultivars and alien species. Where not native, they prefer moist habitats and frequently escape to wetlands and riverbanks. Only those native to the Northern Hemisphere are called forget-me-nots.

Genetic analysis indicates the genus originated in the Northern Hemisphere and that the species is native to Australia, New Zealand, and South America, where all are derived from a single seed dispersal to the Southern Hemisphere. One or two European species like Myosotis sylvatica, woodland forget-me-nots, were introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Culture

Easily grown in organically rich, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade, plants appreciate some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Although technically a short-lived perennial, the plant is often grown as a biennial by planting seed in mid-summer for bloom the following year. It is also grown as an annual by starting seed indoors about 8-10 weeks before last spring frost date for bloom the same year. Regardless of the method, plants will persist in the garden for many years since they freely self-seed. In formal garden areas such as border fronts where naturalization is not desirable, remove some of the cymes immediately after bloom to minimize self-seeding.

Landscaping Uses

Hardy in zones 3-8, forget-me-nots can be used as bedding plants and for borders, rock gardens, wild gardens, woodland areas, and around ponds where plants can naturalize. Interplant them with spring bulbs.

They are easy-care with no serious insect or disease problems but can be susceptible to mildew and rust.

Folklore

In Germany, the forget-me-not got its name from a romantic tragedy involving a knight and his lady. The most common version involves a couple who were strolling along the Danube River when the lady spotted a blue-flowered plant dislodged by the water and about to be swept downstream. She desired to save it, so the knight leapt into the water. The current was too swift for him, and as he was being swept out to sea, he threw the flowers onto the bank, calling out, “Vergiss mein nicht”, or forget-me-not.

(on my deck)

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