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Borago officinalis

Borage

Reader rating

From 8 ratings

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy annual

Flower colour

Blue

Feature

Flowers

Hardiness

Half hardy

Skill level

Beginner

photo by bbc.co.uk/gardening
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Plant details

Blue flowers are always welcome in the garden. Borage is one of the most reliable sources, often flowering lavishly about 8 weeks after sowing and then sometimes continuing until the first serious frosts. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, borage was a potent medicinal herb guaranteeing courage in battle, but the casually sprawling plants are now grown more for their decorative value, both in the garden and on the table. Their open blue flowers add colour and flavour to summer drinks, while the young leaves are sometimes included in salads.

Family: Boraginaceae

Genus: Borago

Species: officinalis

Plant type: Hardy annual

Flower colour: Blue

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Half hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 60cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May


Reader reviews

funnybones123

my borage plants have just flowered and they are beautiful, i didnt realise they would grow so big, but they are well worth the extra space that is needed.


22433

I grew blue flowered Borage from seed a few years ago, it proved to be very easy, self seeded prolifically and the bees loved it. I am about to grow it again for the first time since moving here nearly 11 years ago. I'm also sowing some white flowered Borage this year as I've never grown it before.


Mal44

My borage seems to have decided it's a perennial.
I grew from seed a few years ago, and planted it in a border. It has come up each year, despite the cold winters. Wonderful plant for the bees etc, though it does getting a bit big and unsightly.


Michael Sands

I grow this plant for the bumble bees as they love it.


Michael Sands

I grow this plant for the bumble bees as they love it.


slaphead08

Borage seeds contain an oil, typically 15 - 20% called GLA - Gamma Linoleic acid, similar to Safflower oil but a bit less concentrated, and has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for various conditions. I eat the seeds (in moderation of course) look up on Wilkipedia for fascinating information. Bees love it and it is ideal for a 'wild corner' of the garden.


judymk

I'm experimenting with companion planting and have read that planting Borage with strawberries brings out the flavour of the strawberries. Has anyone had any experience with this?


daisy potts

The flowers are great decoration for cakes. I pop a few in pimms. Always good to enjoy the fruits of my labours


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