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November 2012
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Borage is an annual herb that originated in Syria.

Images of Borage at

Borage (Borago officinalis) is also known as a star flower and is an annual herb that originated in Syria.

Characteristics of Borage

• It is naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America.
• It can grow up to a height of 60–100 cm.
• It is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves.
• The leaves are alternate, simple, and 5–15 cm (2.0–5.9 in) long.
• The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals.
• Flowers are most often blue in color.
• Borage is used as a fresh vegetable with a cucumber like taste.
• It is often used in salads or as a garnish.
• It is often used in soups.
• Borage is commonly used as filling of the traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti.
• It is used to flavor pickled gherkins in Poland.
• Borage is also traditionally used as a garnish in the Pimms Cup cocktail.
• In Iran, people sometimes put it in their tea.
• Naturopathic practitioners use borage for regulation of metabolism and the hormonal system.
• It is considered to be a good remedy for PMS and menopause symptoms.
• Borage is sometimes indicated to alleviate and heal colds, bronchitis, and respiratory infections.
• It has anti-inflammatory and balsamic properties.
Soil: Dry, somewhat poor
Exposure: Sun or shade Propagation: seeds
Spread: 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit: Clumps
Growth Pace: Fast Grower
• Light Full Sun to Part Shade.
Moisture : Dry to Medium
Maintenance: Low
Tolerance: Deer Tolerant
Characteristics Attracts Butterflies; Showy Flowers
Bloom Time: Early Summer; Late Summer
Flower Color: Blue Flower
Uses: Beds and Borders
Style: Herb Garden, Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest: Summer Interest

Growing/Caring conditions for Borage

• Grow borage in full sun.
• It will do fine in part shade also.
• It can adjust to about any pH.
• It needs fertile, well-drained but moisture-retentive soil.
• Work in plenty of organic matter.
• Sow seeds directly in early spring.
• This is about a week before the last expected frost.
• Leave the seeds uncovered.
• They need light to germinate.
• Then thin seedlings to a foot apart.
• Weed regularly.
• Water during dry spells.
• Cut plants back in late summer if they start looking too leggy.
• Clip off leaves as you need them for salads or tea.
• They have a refreshing, cucumber like taste that blends especially well with eggs, either in salads or omelettes.
• Use the edible flowers, fresh or candied, as garnishes for salads, drinks or pastries.
• Propagate by seed.
• Store seed for up to three years in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

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