Borage, also called Starflower, is a fast-growing flowering herb with bright blue star-shaped flowers and fuzzy stems and leaves, all edible and they taste like cucumber. Grows 1'-3' tall and reseeds liberally, so it can become invasive. Use the young leaves like spinach and the sweet little flowers as a charming garnish on salads and cakes, or frozen into ice cubes. Easy to dry and use as a refreshing herbal tea.
A valuable companion in the vegetable garden, it repels cabbage moths, cabbage white butterfly, cabbage worms, and tomato hornworms; attracts pollinators and beneficial insects; acts as a trap crop for grasshoppers; and feeds the soil as a green manure or mulch.
As a medicinal herb, Borage is used internally to treat anxiety, colds, congestion, cough, depression, fever, hot flashes, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), upset stomach, and urinary problems, and externally to treat insect bites and stings, skin irritations, and swelling.
⚠️ Toxic to pets and livestock. Do not ingest while pregnant or nursing, or if you have liver problems.
⚠️ Medicinal properties are presented as information only, and are not a recommendation or prescription for use. Consult a medical professional before using any herb medicinally.
SEED PLANTING TIPS
- Botanical name: Borago officinalis
- Life cycle: Herbaceous annual
- Hardiness zones: 2-11
- Planting season: Spring, summer
- Days to maturity: 55-60 days; can begin harvesting when 6" tall
- Depth to plant seeds: 1/4" deep
- Days to germinate (sprout): 5-14 days
- Germination soil temps: 65F-70F
- Spacing between plants: 12"-18" apart
- Spacing between rows: 18"-24" apart
- # of plants per sq. ft.: Appx. 1 plant per sq. ft.
- Soil types: Clay, sandy, loamy, silty, rocky, chalky, poor, dry, moist, well-drained
- Soil pH: 4.8-8.3
- Sun needs: Full sun, part shade
- Water needs: Average
- Cold stratify: No
- Frost tolerant: Yes
- Heat tolerant: Yes
- Drought tolerant: Yes
- Deer resistant: Yes
- Culinary use: Yes
- Medicinal use: Yes
Good Companion Plants: Basil, Broccoli, Bean, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Cucumber, Eggplant, Fava Bean, Kale, Marigold, Melon, Mustard, Pea, Pepper, Pumpkin, Radish, Soybean, Squash, Strawberry, Tomato, Zucchini
Borage is a fairly common herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. It's best when grown in containers because it is extremely invasive. The flavor of these flowers is crisp and refreshing.
What is Borage?
This gorgeous, but highly invasive medicinal herb will boast lovely blue and purple flowers and will get at least 5 feet tall wherever you plant it. Very easy to grow, it will re-seed year after year and will be a lovely piece for your garden. The flavor of the Borage flowers resemble cucumbers... cool and crisp.
Health Benefits of Borage
Borage is wonderful and has a great reputation for it's beneficial affect on the mind. It's been used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria. It's a soothing saline, diuretic herb that helps treat damaged or irritated tissues. The leaves can be used as well as an emollient and expectorant.
Ways to Consume Borage
Consume these edible flowers in your favorite fresh salads or as a lovely garnish to any dish! Dry the leaves and flowers to make an herbal tea. Freeze these lovely flowers into ice cube trays. Try adding them to wine, cider, and other fruit drinks. Borage pairs well with all salads, most cheeses, summer-like beverages and even fish. You can even "candy" these flowers and use them as edible decorations on cakes, tarts and ice cream.
See Borage Recipes & Growing Tips on our Pinterest Board
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