Enjoy this irony! This letter to the editor appeared in the Daily Telegraph in May (year?) sent in by a reader from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, U.K.
SIR – In the Britain in Bloom article (May 5), you included a list of “each county in Britain”, together with a wild flower chosen as an emblem for each county. The county where I live was not included. Presumably this is because our chosen flower is a forget-me-not.
Before it was forgotten, first it caused some confusion! Forget-me-not according to Dr William Boericke’s Materia Medica, Jorg Wichmann’s Natural Relationship of Remedies and Vermeulen’s Concordant Materia Medica is the Myosotis symphytifolia. However Vermeulen in his Synoptic volume 2 refers to it as the Arvensis (Myos-a), contradicting himself and doesn’t mention Myosotis sym. For Wichmann, the Arvensis is different, it’s commonly known as Field Scorpion-grass (Myos-a). Clarke on the other hand only considers Myosotis sym. which he also calls “Black-root” and doesn’t call it the Forget-me-not, though to Wichmann, Blackroot is a common name for the forget-me-not. However, maybe Boericke is also confused because under Phellandrium he compares Phellandrium to Myos-a and not the symphytifolia which is the remedy he presents in the MM. To confuse you some more, Boenninghausen mentions two other variations; Myosotis palustris and Myosotis sylvatica, neither of which I found in the previous four authors. Can anyone unravel this confusion or perhaps we should just forget it!
The famous French manufacturer of pen ink J.Herbin has an ink named after the Blue Myosotis. Their description of the ink and the story of the legend behind the flower is told poetically (link):
Bleu myosotis (“Forget-me-not” blue): named after the flower of that very same name. Based on the famous legend, a knight and his lady were taking a walk along the river. He bent over to pick up a flower for his lady but lost his balance with the weight of its armor and fell into the river. While drowning he threw the flower at his lady screaming “Forget-me-not”.
Thanks to that legend the myosotis had become the symbol of memory and remembrance. The bleu myosotis is also the closest color to the standard and traditional blue ink used by every French pupil.
Life is full of ironies, none more so than in pathology and the poor Forget-me-not epitomises this irony beautifully!