Living in Bavaria, I naturally buy plants with German name tags. Of course, a botanical name will also often be on the label, but I have become very fond of many of the German common plant names. One particular name I love is “Sun Hat” (Sonnenhut) for cone flowers. Or “Weeping Heart” (Tränendes Herz) instead of Bleeding Heart (Dicentra/Lamprocapnus). I use Wikipedia and other reference sources in both German and English to find out more about them, and in doing so over the years it has become evident again and again that the German Wikipedia site seems – very often – to contain more information. Yet the plants are just as common in both the UK and Germany. Can anyone enlighten me as to why this is so….?
One example of this is Brunnera macrophylla
Brunnera macrophylla is perhaps known better in English as Siberian bugloss, but I feel the German name is so much prettier and more appropriate:
Here is a white variety, ‘Betty Bowring’. It flowers early spring, lighting up the garden, and then intermittently all summer, depending on how hot it is. In a shadier position it might even flower non-stop, especially if deadheaded frequently.
My blue Brunnera also flowers well in a sunny position in spring, but doesn’t last all summer. The blue variety is better known and perhaps more reminiscent of Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) due to the colour. You can see that the foliage is, however, completely different – large heart-shaped leaves.
Brunnera and Myosotis are in fact both in the Boraginaceae family, which also includes Pulmonaria, Borage and Comfrey.
Do you grow Brunnera? Or are you a fan of Forget-me-nots?