Blue Scorpion-grass

Blue_Scorpion-grass_jpgThe Boraginaceae family commonly called the Borage or Forget-Me-Not family consists of 154 genera and 2,500 species of herbs and a few shrubs and trees.  They are found in temperate and tropical regions, particularly the Mediterranean. The Latin nameborrago is ultimately from the Arabic abu’arag (father of sweat) alluding to the medicinal use of Borage as a sudorific (agent that induces sweating). The name “Scorpion-grass” was given by Gerard (1633) because the flowers grow “upon one side of the stalke,…turning themselves back again like the taile of a scorpion”.  Applying the Doctrine of Signatures, which held that a plant revealed its utility by its appearance, such as its shape, this plant was used to remedy the sting of a scorpion. John Evelyn (1699) wrote that Borage (Borago officinalis) “hot and kindly moist, purifying the blood, is an exhilarating cordial, of a pleasant flavor: The tender leaves, and flowers especially, may be eaten in composition; but above all the sprigs in wine. Like those of baum, are of known virtue to revive the hypochondriac, and chear the hard student.” The family name Forget-Me-Not is a translation of the Old French ne m’oubliez mie.  Whoever wore the flower was not forgotten by his or her lover.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Myosotis micrantha

Community:

Edge

PlantStatus:

Naturalized, native of Eurasia

LifeSpan:

Annual or winter-annual

PlantHeight:

8 inches

FruitingTime:

Late June to August

Distribution:

Quebec to Virginia ~ Along central and southern coast of New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Early May to July

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Branched from the base ~ Leaves small, less than 1 inch long, narrow ~ Flowers scattered among leaves, blue