It turns out that Forget-me-nots can actually tell insects to “forget me” so to speak. Leif Bersweden, a passionate botanist and author of The Orchid Hunter and Winter Trees, recently posted about Forget-me-nots to his Instagram account. He explains that “the yellow ring at the flower’s centre fades to white after pollination, signaling to insects there’s no more nectar.”

This fun fact was new to me and we have a ton of Forget-me-nots outside, so I was excited to see if ours had been pollinated. I asked my daughter if she had noticed that some had yellow rings while others had white ones, and sure enough she said she had and that she had seen a bumblebee at them. Since we are homeschooling, I decided to make it a science/math project. As a ornithologist I have done my share of vegetation studies⎼so I kinda felt like I was going back to my field work adventures. I even showed her some old field photos. She said “cool”, and promptly returned to her dinosaur play;)

We made a data sheet and grabbed something to use as a quadrat. We talked about how we didn’t have the time to observe and count every flower so we would just do a sample. I briefly rambled on about systematic and random sampling, but I was getting carried away (she’s in 2nd grade). In the end, we threw the quadrat seven times and counted there.

We did an average together, and it turns on that on average 21.5% of the flowers have been pollinated. It would be interesting to check again in a week or two.

So if you have some Forget-me-nots in your area, step outside and take a look!


On another note, there is moving picture book called Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan and Stephanie Graegin about a beloved Grandmother who develops Alzheimer’s disease, and the relationship between her and her granddaughter – a topic and a relationship that is near to my heart.