Cape Forget-Me-Not
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Cape Forget-Me-Not
ntroduced Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Cape Forget-Me-Not, Summer Forget-Me-Not, Cape bugloss
Botanical name: Anchusa capensis    Family: Boraginaceae (Forget-me-not family)

Cape Forget-Me-Not is a vigorous herb with tall stems with blue flowers shooting up from clumps of bright green leaves. The long narrow leaves are soft, but rough and hairy to touch. Each plant has many flowering stems which grow to 1 m tall. The stems are thick at the bottom getting thinner as they grow upward, with the new growth often a beautiful deep red. The many blue flowers are carried on smaller branches which are borne all up the top half of the stem, which ends in a small cluster of flowers at the tip. Individual flowers are small but beautifulm with 5 bright blue petals and 5 feathery white scales in the center protecting the stigma and anthers. Bees love the flowers. The seeds develop inside little green cups, which are formed by the 5 sepals that have united. Inside each cup three seeds or little nuts turn hard and black as they ripen, usually about a month after flowering. Every plant produces hundreds of seeds. Cape Forget-Me-Not is native to South Africa, cultivated as a garden plant in Kashmir.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Hazuribagh Garden, Srinagar, Kashmir.
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