Planting Borage or Starflowers


[Flower Essence Society]
This herb is another new addition to my garden this year. Of its two names, borage or starflower, I much prefer starflower. It is edible, medicinal, a good pollinator, and has gorgeous bright blue flowers.
Starflower is a self-seeding annual, which means it comes back every year in the garden. That can also mean it takes over a spot–my neighbor had to cut hers back quite a bit this year. The plant grows 2-3 feet tall and is covered with little hairs. Some people think it looks weedy, but I find that the flowers make up for it.
The flowers, as mentioned, are a brilliant blue and look fabulous as a garnish in drinks, desserts, and of course, salads:

[Chaumurky’s Flickr]
You can also eat the leaves as you would spinach or any other edible leaf. The cucumber aroma the leaves give off is supposed to be particularly nice in a beverage.
Starflowers have been used by humans for a very long time. Originally from Syria, the plant was used by the Greeks and Romans and is mentioned in all old European herbal books. It has long been used to attract bees and other pollinators in the garden, and is said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes in particular.
And anyway, I just like it:

[Pictures Craze]
Have you grown borage? Tell me about it.

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