This section is from the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood. Also available from Amazon: A British Wild Flowers In Their Natural Haunts.
Though this is one of the Arctic types it has not been found in association with those found in ancient deposits so far. In the North Temperate and Arctic Zones it is found in Arctic Europe, Siberia, Dahuria, and has been introduced in N. America. In Great Britain it is found in the Peninsula, Channel, Thames, Anglia, and Severn provinces. In S. Wales it is not found in Radnor or Cardigan; in N. Wales only in Carnarvon, Flint, Anglesea; throughout the Trent, Mersey, Humber, Tyne, and Lakes provinces, and in W. Lowlands; in E. Lowlands, except Peebles, Selkirk; in the E. Highlands, except in Stirling, Banff, Elgin; in the W. Highlands, not in Cantire, Mid or N. Ebudes; in E. Ross and Caithness, in N. Highlands; or from Aberdeen southwards. In the North, Myosotis repens has been confused with this, which is there rare.
The Scorpion Grass is an aquatic plant, which is common by the sides of rivers, margins of lakes, pools, and ponds; and it may also be found growing on wet ground of a more or less marshy or boggy character caused by an overflow of any of the former.
The Marsh Forget-me-not, as it is also called, has long roots and is stoloniferous, then erect, with branched, smooth or hairy, rounded, solid stem, with spreading hairs. The leaves are stalkless, lance-shaped, blunt, smooth, and the first Latin name refers to their shape or texture, being like a mouse's ear.
The flowers are blue or violet, stalked, and form a scorpioid cyme, with a smooth 5-lobed calyx covered with closely-pressed bristles or hairs, with sub-equal, short, blunt teeth, nearly as long-as the corolla, and the limb of the corolla twice as long. The style equals the calyx, and the lobes of the corolla are notched at the end.
The stem is 2 ft. high at most, and flowers are in bloom between April and August. The plant is a herbaceous perennial and propagated by division, being worth cultivating.
The pistil and stamens in the different species vary in position, but the floral mechanism is similar to that of M. intermedia, in the length of the tube, which is 3 mm. long. The corolla is salver-shaped with a flat limb, and the mouth is closed by 5 scales or glands. The anther-stalks are fixed in the neck of the tube; the anthers are oblong, yellow, with a club-shaped tip, and are included. The style is as long as the tube, and the stigma blunt. It is visited by the Common Blue Butterfly (Lycaena Icarus), and a fly, Empis.
The fruits are hooked and may catch in the coats of animals and be thus dispersed, or they may fall into the water in the first place and be dispersed by water.
Photo. C. Edwards - Scorpion Grass (Myosotis Scorpioides, L.)
Marsh Forget-me-not is a peat-loving plant requiring a peaty soil, or a clay-loving plant growing on clay soil.
Two fungi, Peronospora myosotidis and Entyloma jergussoni, infest the plant, and a Heteropodous insect, Monanthia humuli, and a Homopterous insect, Liburnia fieberi, feed on it.
Myosotis, Dioscorides, is from the Greek mus, mouse, and ous, ear, because the leaves resemble a mouse's ear; and the second Latin name refers to the scorpioid type of cyme.
Marsh Forget-me-not is also known by the names Bird's-eye, Catter-pillars, Forget-me-not, Snake Grass, Love-me, Mouse-ear Scorpion-grass. The origin of the name is so described by Shiraz: "It was in the golden morning of the early world when an angel sat weeping outside the closed gates of Eden. He had fallen from his high estate through loving a daughter of Earth, nor was he permitted to enter again until she whom he loved had planted the flowers of the forget-me-not in every corner of the world. He returned to Earth and assisted her, and they went hand-in-hand over the world planting the forget-me-not. When their task was ended they entered Paradise together; for the fair woman, without tasting the bitterness of death, became immortal like the angel, whose love her beauty had won when she sat by the river twining the forget-me-not in her hair." Another explanation is that a lover when trying to pick some blossoms of the Myosotis for his lady-love was drowned, his last words as he threw the flowers on the bank being Forget-me-not.
Essential Specific Characters:216. Myosotis scorpioides, L. - Root creeping, stem suberect, leaves rough, with spreading hairs, shining, blunt, flowers bright-blue, with yellow eye, and small ray at base of corolla, in a raceme or scorpioid cyme, teeth short, style equalling the calyx, hairs on calyx straight, appressed.