Do you have forget-me-nots in your landscape? These annual or biennial herbs are quite prolific; seeds can stay dormant in the soil for up to 30 years when on a whim they decide to germinate. Have you ever wondered “Can I eat forget-me-nots?”. After all, there are sometimes hundreds of the plants, or at least there are in my yard. Read on to find out if forget-me-nots are edible.
Can I Eat Forget-Me-Nots?
Yes, they are pretty with their sprays of tiny blue flowers, but I get so many of them invading the gardens, I tend to pull them out. I’m talking about ornamental forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica). Turns out, maybe I should think about harvesting and eating forget-me-not flowers because the answer to “Are forget-me-nots edible?” is yes.
About Edible Forget-Me-Nots
Ornamental forget-me-nots (M. sylvatica) are indeed edible. They grow in USDA zones 5-9. If you are sure that no pesticides have been used, they add nice color to salads or even baked goods and make excellent candied blossoms. That said, they do contain some pyrrolizidine, a mildly toxic chemical that, if ingested in any great quantity, can cause harm. M. sylvatica species are really the most edible of the forget-me-nots and will likely cause no problems with either children or pets ingesting them.
However, another variety called the Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile) and the broadleaf forget-me-not (Myosotis latifolia) are considered mildly toxic to grazing animals eating these types of forget-me-nots. Chinese forget-me-not, also called hound’s tongue for its fuzzy leaves, is not actually a forget-me-not but rather a look alike. Both plants grow up to 2 feet (61 cm) in height, are considered invasive in some states, and are common pasture weeds found in USDA zones 6-9.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice.