BORAGE

FAMILY: Boraginaceae | GENUS: BORAGO officinalis

TYPE
  • Annuals
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Moderate Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

Delightful sky-blue, star-shaped flowers make this European native a kitchen-garden favorite. Plant forms a rounded clump 23 ft. high, 1122 ft. wide. Bristly, gray-green leaves to 46 in. long are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor; use small, tender leaves in salads, pickle them, or cook them as you would greens. Many people grow the plant simply for its summer flowers: pretty, star-shaped, inch-wide blue blossoms that nod in leafy clusters from branched stems. Cut flowers are attractive in arrangements and can also be used as a decorative garnish for iced drinks, green salads, and fruit compotes.

Tolerates poor soil. Reseeds itself, but deep taproot makes transplanting difficult. In most of the South, the best way to start borage is to sow seeds in place in spring, after the danger of frost is past. In the Coastal and Tropical South (USDA 9-11), sow in fall and grow as a fall-into-spring crop.

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