I haven't been able to prepare a full post lately as we're currently in the field conducting our next survey round for the day job. In the meantime, I'll just content myself with a brief introducion to the Cynoglosseae. This is a tribe in the plant family Boraginaceae, redefined by Långström & Chase (2002) on the basis of molecular phylogeny to effectively correspond to the clade of Boraginaceae with heterocolpate pollen, as well as an undivided style with a single stigma (another tribe of Boraginaceae, the Boragineae, was covered in an earlier post). In the heterocolpate pollen of Cynoglosseae, the three apertures found in the pollen of other Boraginaceae alternate with an equal number of 'pseudoapertures'. The pseudoapertures represent gaps in the outer exine coat of the pollen grain like the apertures, but lack certain other features of the latter such as a concentration of cytoplasmic vesicles, as well as being longer and narrower (Hargrove & Simpson 2003).
Perhaps the most familiar members of this usage of Cynoglosseae are the forget-me-nots of the genus Myosotis, with other members including the hound's-tongue Cynoglossum officinale and, here in Australia, the camelbush Trichodesma zeylanicum. Offhand, camelbushes are generally one of the more prominent flowering plants here on Barrow Island, my current location, though they're one a bit of a low right now. There has been a bit of rain, and camelbush doesn't like to get its feet wet.
The traditional associations of forget-me-nots, of course, are right there in their name. There are a number of stories supposedly explaining how these flowers came to be associated with the memory of loved ones (surely the most ridiculous being the one that apparently has a knight drowning under the weight of a bouquet of the things) but the true reasons are probably lost to history. My own suspicion is that it is perhaps ultimately because forget-me-nots are relatively unassuming as flowers go, making them an ideal symbol of beauty that should not be overlooked for the sake of more flashy but perhaps less reliable competitors.
Hound's-tongue, on the other hand, seems to get its name from the resemblance of its leaves to its namesake. This plant doesn't seem to have quite the same hold on human affection as the forget-me-not, and the reason for this may be indicated by some of its other vernacular names: 'monk's nit' or 'beggar's lice', in reference to its sticky seeds that adhere to clothing (perhaps 'gypsy flower' derives from the same source?) and, even more damning, 'rats and mice', referring to its unmistakeable smell.
Hargrove, L., & M. G. Simpson. 2003. Ultrastructure of heterocolpate pollen in Cryptantha (Boraginaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 164 (1): 137-151.
Långström, E., & M. W. Chase. 2002. Tribes of Boraginoideae (Boraginaceae) and placement of Antiphytum, Echiochilon, Ogastemma and Sericostoma: a phylogenetic analysis based on atpB plastid DNA sequence data. Plant Systematics and Evolution 234: 137-153.