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    “Mouse Ear” in the Forest Undergrowth

    Most of us have probably seen a forget-me-not flower at some point. It’s a blue flower whose name, translated literally from Latin, means “mouse ear” (Myosotis).

    The Day of the Polish Forget-Me-Not falls on May 15th. It is a holiday of nature with a message of love, initiated by Andrzej Zalewski, the host of “Ekoradio” on Radio Jedynka. He emphasized that ecology is not only about nature conservation, but also about our daily actions. Let’s save water, electricity, and separate our waste – all of this is encompassed in the message of the Forget-Me-Not. In another sense, the holiday encourages us to remember our loved ones, kindness, and openness to others, reminding us of the importance of taking care of our surroundings.

    There are many different legends surrounding the Forget-Me-Not. Some refer to religion, while others have a more secular message. The characteristic shape of slightly hairy leaves resembles a mouse’s ear, hence the name.

    Forget-Me-Nots can be annual or biennial plants, but most often they are perennials, with stems reaching a height of 20-30 cm, branching at the bottom. The elongated leaves are gathered in a rosette just above the ground. Forget-Me-Nots bloom from May to July, sometimes even until autumn. They display blue flowers, and occasionally white and pink ones. The flower’s corolla has five rounded petals and is characterized by a yellow tube in the center – hence the famous rhyme about the golden-eyed wink. After flowering, small, flat seeds develop at the ends of the stems. One forget-me-not plant can produce up to 700 seeds! This allows them to spread quickly. Planted year after year, the plants will cover an increasingly larger area. Interestingly, some of the seeds germinate in the same year in autumn, while others remain dormant for 2-3 years.

    Protection of the Plant

    Annual varieties die out after completing a single vegetative period and regenerate as entirely new plants from seeds the following year. Forget-Me-Nots rarely suffer from diseases or pests. The most serious threat to them is powdery mildew, which most often develops in areas with excessive plant density. The lack of flowering, on the other hand, is rarely associated with disease and is usually a sign of excessive soil dryness or the lack of division for several years – older plants require periodic rejuvenation.

    Use of Forget-Me-Not

    Forget-Me-Not has a wide range of applications and works well when planted as a low border around other flowering plants. In moist soil near water, it creates a beautiful composition together with yellow-flowering marsh marigold or marsh cinquefoil. These plants look very nice when planted among taller bulbous plants such as late tulips and daffodils, as well as the dominating irises in May and June. However, they look most beautiful in forested, naturalistic areas accompanied by lilies of the valley and ferns.

    State Forests / press material

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