Monday, August 26, 2013

touch me not, forget me not

In an earlier post I identified this as birdsfoot trefoil, but after spending time with my wildflower guides I realize it is a Touch-me-not a/k/a/ Jewelweed, Wild Balsam, Lady's Eardrops, Wild Lady's Slipper. (Which is wild--the lady or the slipper?)

It has an orange sister plant that shares the same nicknames. Their seedpods pop at the lightest touch, hence the name touch-me-not, but they are also used as a remedy for skin rashes, such as poison ivy (which perhaps should be named touch-me-not).

Forget-me-nots have been blooming all summer. According to my 1926 Nature Library wildflower guide they are also known as Mouse-ear, Scorpion Grass and Love Me. "...popular legend tells how a lover, when trying to gather some of these blossoms for his sweetheart, fell into a deep pool, and threw a bunch on the bank, calling out as he sank forever from her sight, 'Forget me not.'"

I also mis-identified this flower in earlier posts, calling it a wild raspberry.

Apparently blackberries look like raspberries before they turn into blackberries.

Birds (and maybe bears, and occasionally me) eat the berries, bees nestle in the flowers and spiders travel on their leaves.

For the while (?) I will be working/living/traveling away from the internet as much as possible. I'll check in when I can. Enjoy the late summer days and evenings.

xo, Jen


  1. We used to love finding a patch of those touch-me-nots when we were kids. Finding the pods that were just the perfect "ripeness" to explode in our hands brought endless fun.

  2. I love these stories about the origins of names. lovely photos, too. have a safe trip xxx

  3. Summer flowers series...we have not much flowers in this season here unfortunately.
    Have a good weeks enjoying traveling and so on.

  4. Enjoy the late summer Jen! See you back in a few weeks time!

    Madelief x

  5. I always called them wild orchids, what do I know. I love forget me nots and now that I know where their name most likely derived from I love them even more. The perfect little wildflower. Enjoy the rest of this very odd Summer, who knows it may last until November!

  6. I love the forget-me-not story. Enjoy your time away ...

  7. Hello Jen, In Ohio one can find large patches of jewelweed. Similar to Urban Cottage's comment, we used to love walking through the plants (or brushing our hands along the tops) for the feel and sound of the constant popping.

    Incidentally, the plant is not called jewelweed because of the colorful flowers, but because when the leaves are sprinkled with water, the drops stay on the surface forming silvery "jewels"--try this if you've never noticed it before.
    --Road to Parnassus

  8. Beautiful post! Wild ladies indeed. I love the forget-me-not story. When I was a child I used to love to touch the touch-me-nots but I haven't seen any for years. i love the pictures!

  9. Hello dear Jen
    all flowers on your post look so lovely (and the berries of course)

    I didn't know the legent about the forget me not , although I am familiar with name as it means the same in greek (I must check what they are called in norwegian though)

    enjoy your time apart from your pc

  10. These are really exquisite photographs and you have such an eye for colour and texture! x