Borage is part of the Borago genus and its scientific name is Borago officinalis. The officinalis part of this plant's botanical name means 'used medicinally'.
Borage is an excellent provider of organic potassium, calcium, and other natural minerals of benefit to plants. Honey bees like to feast on the blossoms. 2
Borage is an ingredient in the traditional recipe for a Pimm’s Cup. Improves the flavor of tomato vines when grown within a few feet of them. Young leaves and flowers have a cucumber flavor. Young leaves can be eaten raw or steamed and flowers can be eaten raw or used as decoration. The stems can also be eaten, just peel and chop similar to celery. Borage aids the growth of almost anything that is planted near it. 4
This variety typically blooms in the following colours: Palatinate blue and Lavender magenta and Ghost white. The mature flowers take a clustered form, with an approximate petal count of 5. The leaves of this particular variety normally show as Grade 1 Paint Green and Napier green
It is a flowering edible herb / flower that typically grows as an annual/perennial, which is defined as a plant that can matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of one year or more.
Borage is known for growing to a height of approximately 1.98 feet (that's 61.0 cm in metric) with a shrub-like habit. Expect blooming to occur in early summer.
This plant is a great attractor for bees, so if you are looking to attract wildlife Borage is a great choice.
Syrian Arab Republic is thought to be the country of origin for Borage.
Borage is great for inexperienced gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Borage have been kindly provided by our members.
Borage will grow in most soils, even poor soils, but prefers well drained. It is drought tolerant, needs part sun-full sun, and doesn’t like too much fertilizer (too much nitrogen will cause less flowers to form). Borage re-seeds easily and is easy to grow.
from Om: It can be contained. Trim, pinch, hack it back. Also it won’t grow into non-sunny space, so other plants could out compete it. You can also put it in a container and move it around to which crop needs it now. At the end of the season, the roots are harvested for medicinal uses and also for use in stir fries and other mixed veggie dishes. They are nutritious, but don’t have a lot of flavor on their own. The do produce a long tap root, but do fine in containers. Um, due to concentrations of potassium nitrate [aka saltpeter], which makes them good for the compost or just burying or mulching with also (in small doses of course).
Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to water moderately. As a rough idea of the types of climates Borage does best in, check to see if your local area is within USDA Hardiness Zones 5 and 10. Borage requires a sandy and loamy soil with a ph of 4.3 - 8.5 - it grows best in moderately acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Borage is thought of as hardy, so this plant will survive close to or on freezing temperatures.
See our list of companion Plants for Borage to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.
Can be sown outside when danger of heavy frost has passed. Sow in early spring and again in midsummer. In mild climates it can be sown outside anytime. Not recommended to start inside as will not transplant well. The seeds need darkness to germinate.
It self-seeds quite readily in the gardenEnsure a distance of 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - look to sow at a depth of approximately 0.16 inches (0.4 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 20°C / 68°F to ensure good germination.
Transplanting is not recommended after the plant has reached the 4-leaf stage, as it has a long tap-root.Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Borage is a hardy plant.
Borage should only be used fresh, as it loses its flavour once dried.
If you are going to use the leaves, harvest before flowers appear 5. If using flowers, harvest in the morning. Most people crystallize the flowers, but you could also make ice-blocks for a colourful addition to a summer punch bowl!
Cut the flowering stalks and put in a paper bag to dry out for week or so. Shake the seeds out into the paper bag and check each of the flowers for seeds.
These estimates for how long Borage takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.
Average 10 days | Min 2 days | Max 25 days (174)
Average 37 days | Min 1 days | Max 69 days (29)
Average 50 days | Min 15 days | Max 422 days (14)
Might be the Latin Borago or Corago from cor (the heart), and ago (I bring). Also could be from the Latin Burra meaning flock of wool. Or the Celtic term Barrach -a man of courage. The botanical epithet is from the Latin officinalis meaning “used medicinally”
Borage is supposed to give strength of heart, courage, and joyfulness to anyone who eats the leaves or drinks wine in which the flowers or leaves are floating. It was given to warriors before going into battle and also sneaked into the drinks of men so they would propose. It was used as an anti-depressant.
smuggle some borageinto the drink of a prospective husband to give him courage to propose marriage 1
from Om: Dried borage leaf and flowers are also a fun party trick as they pop and sizzle when burned.
Starflower, Tailwort, Bugloss
Misspellings: Boreage, Burrage