A honeybee visits a Chatham Island forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia). No, it is not a miniature bee - the flowers that have opened are indeed much larger than the little forget-me-not after which it is named (but to which it is not related). One of the oddities of New Zealand plants is a tendency to have giant forms of what are much smaller plants in the northern hemisphere - we have tree-sized daisy, lily and fuchsia plants, for example. "Megaherbs" is the term used to describe large-leaved flowering plants which are found on the subantarctic islands and although not from a subantarctic island this forget-me-not is also described as a megaherb. It is an endangered coastal herbaceous perennial plant endemic to the Chatham Islands, which lie east of the South Island of New Zealand.
The glossy leaves are rich green and deeply ribbed and make a very large clump. They look so lush and beautiful it is hard to believe that they come from islands which are very exposed to harsh weather. But the subantarctic islands, further south and even more inhospitable as their location suggests, are home to even more extraordinary flowering plants, which I have (as yet!) only seen in pictures. Those megaherbs are pretty much impossible to grow in the kind conditions found in gardens, but the Chatham Island forget-me-not can be a lovely addition to a garden, albeit somewhat tricky to please.
Chatham Island forget-me-not, the glossy leaves and soft blue flowers with their darker blue centres.