Chinese forget-me-not, also called hound's tongue, is of special value for the clear, sky-blue color of the flowers. They bloom all summer, and are especially good in cool climates. The Chinese in its common name comes from its origin in Asia, although it also resembles the true forget-me-not (Myosotis). "Hound's tongue" refers to its leaves, which have a furry surface and are shaped like a dog's tongue.
: Chinese forget-me-not is a biennial most often grown as an annual. The plants grow to 2 feet tall with flowers appearing as sprays above the plant. The foliage is gray-green. There are also pink and white forms that are not widely available.
: Grow in full sun or partial shade in a rich, well-drained soil, high in organic matter. Except in regions with cool summers, they are more successful in full sun if the soil is kept evenly moist, but not soggy. Feed lightly or mix a slow-release fertilizer into the soil before planting. They may be planted outdoors in spring as soon as the soil is workable. Space 8 to 12 inches apart.
: By seed. Sow outdoors as early as the ground can be worked. For best color during cool weather, sow seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks prior to transplanting outside. Germination takes 5 to 14 days at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plants will reseed profusely if not kept in check. Seeds stick tightly to clothes and animals that carry them far from the planned location.
Uses for Chinese forget-me-not: Grow them as a source of sky-blue color in beds or borders. They're also striking in beds all by themselves or mixed with other flowers to tone down hot colors or to complement a range of pastels.
related variety: Firmament, an award-winner, is widely available. Chill Out has sky-blue and white flowers.
Scientific name of Chinese forget-me-not: Cynoglossum amabile