Chinese Forget-me-not

The Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile) is a 2-foot biennial ornamental plant with intensely blue flowers, almost turquoise in color. The gray-green, hairy, lance-shaped leaves are arranged in clumps. Easily raised from seed, these plants may be sown in fall to germinate in spring. These are cool-weather plants which may not bloom in the heat of August, but plants self-sown in summer may bloom in fall in warm climates 2.

Picture of Chinese Forget-me-not, Cynoglossum amabile
Chinese Forget-me-not
(Cynoglossum amabile)

In traditional Chinese medicine Chinese Forget-me-not is used to treat cough and to stop bleeding of wounds. Five pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been identified in Cynoglossum amabile, including supinine, amabiline, rinderine, echinatine, and 3'-O-acetylechinatine 4. Many of these alkaloids have pronounced liver toxicity, but the lungs and other organs may be affected as well 1.

  • Other names: Chinese hound's tongue
  • Family: Boraginaceae (borage)
  • Native to: Asia


  1. Gaby H. Schmelzer (editor). Medicinal Plants
  2. Barbara Damrosch. The Garden Primer
  3. Frances Tenenbaum (editor). Taylor's Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
  4. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids of Cynoglossum officinale and Cynoglossum amabile