Borago officinalis (Borage)

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Scientific Name

Borago officinalis L.

Common Names

Borage, Common Borage, Starflower, Cool Tankard, Talewort, Bee Bread, Bee Plant, Bourrache (French), Borretsch (German), Einjähriger Borretsch (German), Gurkenkraut (German), Boragine (Italian), Borandella (Italian), Boragem (Portuguese), Borraja (Spanish), Gurkört (Swedish)

Synonyms

Borago hortensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Boraginoideae
Genus: Borago

Flower

Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Continuously for most of the year

Description

Borago officinalis is a large, branched annual, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, with white, stiff, prickly hairs. The round stems are branched, hollow and succulent. The leaves are alternate, large, wrinkled, deep green, oval and pointed, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long and about up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) wide. The flowers, which terminate the cells, are bright blue and star-shaped, distinguished from those of every plant in this order by their prominent black anthers, which form a cone in the centre and have been described as their beauty spot. In temperate climate its flowering season is relatively long, from June to September. In milder climates will bloom continuously for most of the year. The fruit consists of four brownish-black nutlets.

How to Grow and Care

Borage grows best if direct seeded. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep well watered. They are tolerant of any type soil, even poor dry soil. However a sunny location with rich, well draining soil is optimal.

If you choose to start seedlings, transplant before they become pot bound. Plan to start seedlings about 3-4 weeks before the last expected frost and don’t transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed. Once seedling are about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) tall, thin to approximately 12 inches (40 cm) apart.

Plants in poor soil will benefit from periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for use on edible plants. Something with a high phosphorous number (the middle number on a fertilizer package) will help keep them in flower. Plants can be pinched or pruned, to encourage branching and to keep them shorter… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Borage.

Origin

Native to Aleppo (Syria), but now naturalized in most parts of Europe.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Borago officinalis ‘Alba’

Links

BACK TO genus Borago
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