Common Name: Chinese Forget Me Not
Specimen of a flowering and fruiting plant
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Chinese forget me not is a perennial plant, though often treated as an annual in cultivation. It usually produces a single, erect stem 15 - 60cm tall, though occasionally several stems are formed[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local medicinal use. It produces an abundance of showy sprays of light blue flowers over a long period and so is often grown as an ornamental[
No specific mention of toxicity has been seen for this species, but many members of this plant family (Boraginaceae) are known to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These alkaloids have a cumulative effect upon the body and, unless concentrations in a plant are high, occasional use is generally completely safe. They are derived from amino acids including ornithine. Many pyrrolizidine alkaloids have pronounced hepatic toxicity, but the lungs and other organs may be affected as well. Mutagenic and carcinogenic activities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids have also been reported[
E. Asia - southern China, Bhutan.
Hillside meadows, forests, thickets, roadsides, river banks; at elevations from 2,600 - 3,700 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the subtropics, it can be grown from the temperate zone to the tropics, especially at higher elevations in the tropics.
Succeeds in a sunny position in most well-drained, moist soils[
]. Tolerates poor soils, but dislikes very heavy soils[
The plant is often grown as an ornamental in warm temperate to tropical areas. The seedpods contain five large seeds which are covered in velcro-like hooks so that they will stick to animals or birds to be dispersed. It often self-sows and has escaped from cultivation in many areas and become established as a weed[
The plant is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cough, scrofula and to stop the bleeding of wounds[
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