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BORAGO officinalis

Image of Borago officinalis

Jessie Keith

Family

Boraginaceae

Botanical Name

BORAGO officinalis

Plant Common Name

Borage

General Description

Old fashioned and pretty, borage is an easy-to-grow herb grown for its edible and attractive starry blue flowers that taste like cucumber. The European native germinates in spring and develops into a moderate sized bushy plant with large, distinctly prickly, hairy leaves. Only six weeks after germination, borage bears loose clusters of five-petaled, star-shaped blue flowers with white centers and black stamens. These are a delight to bees.

Sun and fertile garden soil will make this old-fashioned herb happiest. It is short-lived and will die once blooming has ended, so it is wise to plant borage in succession. Enjoy this ornamental herb in vegetable gardens, mixed borders and herb gardens. It's blue flowers can also be candied and hold their color in the crystallized sugar.

Characteristics

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Herb

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-28" / 45.7cm - 71.1cm

  • Width

    12"-24" / 30.5cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes