The leaves are up to 30cm long by 20cm wide on the plant which stands 30-80cm tall. Borage is a somewhat gangly plant, but because the star-shaped flowers are so vibrant, this isn’t really noticed. NCDVD Board offering a Holy Hour for all those who serve in this sacred ministry. Additionally, borage releases calcium and potassium into the soil, which can help oth This is a warm-season herb that has a long harvest period. While scientific evidence on dynamic accumulation is often scant, it could be worthwhile considering borage in this capacity. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies. Blooming over a long portion of the year, borage can bring a cheery splash of blue to your garden. Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here. An ornamental bed or border in your garden. She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Adding borage to your compost heap can also help make sure you have a nutrient-rich and well balanced compost at the end of the process. In particular, for some of the reasons mentioned above, borage is said to be a particularly good companion plant for: For example, borage might be included as part of a polyculture with tomatoes and squash, as in the link below. Borage is distinguished by large oval or egg-shaped rough, thick, hairy leaves with sap smelling and tasting like cucumber. It is a soothing saline, diuretic herb that soothes damaged or irritated tissues. A well known companion plant, borage has bright blue edible flowers which attract bees. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. You can make a poultice to sooth the skin. It can be a useful addition to your hens’ foraged diet, or can be chopped and tossed into their run to give your chickens a healthy treat. Some people use borage as a substitute for valerian as it dispels melancholy and induces euphoria. An edible blue dye can be obtained from the flowers; some people use it to colour vinegar however it turns pink on contact with acids. It is useful both while it is in growth, and as a crop for harvesting. What is borage? As gardeners and growers, one of the things we can do is make sure we have flowers in bloom for pollinators throughout the year. Borage is also used externally in herbal medicine to treat inflammatory swellings. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. One other great thing about borage is that it attracts aphids. It is most commonly used as a bright, flavorful addition to salads, dips or cocktails. Both the leaves and flowers of the plant are edible and commonly used as a garnish, dried herb, or vegetable in a variety of drinks and dishes. And can be grown in full sun, or light or dappled shade. Borage is an easy growing annual herb plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves and flowers that have the flavor and scent of cucumbers. Borage is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized elsewhere. To aid pollination, borage can be a great addition all around your property. That said, you will generally find that borage is a useful addition to your home-grown diet. The flowers are star-like, with five, narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Borage was a well known herbal remedy. They’re brilliant blue, hanging in downward facing clusters. Borage has brilliant, blue flowers that are star-shaped with prominent black anthers forming a cone-like structure. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). You can also simply add a few leaves or flowers to a number of other soap recipes, such as the one below: Cucumber and Borage Soap @ thenerdyfarmwife.com. Insects like ladybugs and lacewings that prey on aphids will be drawn to their food source. Both the leaves and flowers of borage are edible with a flavor much akin to a cucumber. Affordable and search from millions of royalty free images, photos and vectors. Flowers are very tasty and can be tossed into salads or they can be crystallized to make a “candy.” The seeds are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid; this oil helps to regulate the hormonal systems and lowers blood pressure. By planting bee-attractant plants like borage, we can make sure that pollinators are around to pollinate our crops. Another thing to consider is that since they attract aphids and other pest species, they also attract a range of other, more beneficial insects. Sow seeds under cover and plant them out once weather has begun to warm, or direct sow seeds where they are to grow after the last frost date in your area. This herb can be used in soups, salads, borage-lemonade, strawberry-borage cocktails, preserves, borage jelly, various sauces, cooked as a stand-alone vegetable, or used in desserts in the form of fresh or candied flowers, to … The flowers are a great addition to salads and summer drinks. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton. But since it draws aphids to it, this plant can serve as a useful trap crop. It is vital that we protect biodiversity whenever we can. Borage flowers and young leaves are a wonderful, edible treat with a mild cucumber flavor. The leaves are broadly ovate and stalked and measure between 4 and 10 cm. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site. We are currently in a worrying period of mass extinction. It can be used dried as a pot herb with a freshening flavour. The plant is hairy all over its stems and leaves. This is an annual flowering plant. Borage Edible Flowers. Borage (Borago officinalis) is an large herb with hair stems and leaves. Some people use borage as a substitute for valerian as it dispels melancholy and induces euphoria. This beautiful plant works well as a companion plant as it deters tomato hornworm and Japanese beetles; it also stimulates the growth of strawberries. Whether or not borage really does repel these pests, it could be worth a try planting it as a companion plant for vulnerable crops. Since borage can be in bloom over such a long season, it is a particularly beneficial bee-friendly plant. Leaves and flowers can be harvested as soon as plants begin to flower. The whole plant has a cucumber odor and flavor. Sow once, this annual will then readily self-seed if left to its own devices. The plant can topple over so may need staking. And by self-seeding prolifically, borage can help to cover areas of bare soil and fill in patches in your growing areas. Borage can grow wild in woodlands and pastures. As mentioned above, borage can also be a useful edible crop. Keep picking for more flowers. The leaves may also be cooked and served as for spinach. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. And wild birds are not the only creatures which could benefit. Borage, when left to set seed, will generally self-seed very readily. It has a particularly good reputation for its beneficial affect on the mind, being used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria. Click, All listed plants are found in central-east Canada and A cover crop of borage could help to improve the soil quality before other crops are grown. For cool cocktails in summer, you can freeze borage flowers in ice cubes then add them to your beverages. While the evidence is largely anecdotal, some gardeners swear that borage can also repel or deter certain pests, such as tomato hornworm, and cabbage moths, for example. Borage is considered a good companion to squash, tomatoes, and strawberries, deterring tomato hornworms and improving the flavor of tomatoes … Borage is a hardy annual edible that is known for its beauty. Borage is often mentioned in organic gardening circles. They are covered with whitish bristles that can feel rough-hairy. It has limited culinary use in today’s foods, but the borage flower is often used as a garnish. They can be finely chopped (to mitigate the rough texture) and added to salads along with the flowers. It is worthwhile remembering that self-seeding annuals and a good mixture of perennial plants are ideal for a low-maintenance garden. Borage has the ability to dynamically gather nutrients from the soil. Some people use the leaves or flowers in salads, as they have a taste similar to cucumber. Harvest borage leaves when they are young for the best taste and texture. The flowers work especially well for blue dyes when frozen. Borage tastes just like cucumber. Borage is best grown from seed. While self-seeding plants are not always ideal for very neat and tidy gardeners, borage is such a useful plant that gardeners are often happy to let it naturalize around their gardens. If you don’t mind the hairs (some do, some don’t), you can cut the older leaves and add them to salads. Finally, borage flowers can be used to make a dye – either for edible recipes, or for dyeing fabric. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. You may not immediately think of this as a good thing. Your feathered backyard flock will also enjoy eating borage. Especially good with beans, green peas and spinach. And, if you want a plant that attracts honey bees, borage is perfect for you. It is considered by many to be a wonderful plant, which can find pride of place in many gardens. Copyright © 2020 Rural Sprout on the Seasoned Pro Theme, 18 Self-Seeding Flowers, Herbs & Veggies You'll Never Have To Plant Again, How To Turn Your Lawn Into A Wildflower Meadow (& Why You Should), 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants. The leaves of the plant have a noticeable cucumber-like taste. Borage Leaf, Pea and Mint Soup @ theseasonaltable.co.uk. In fact, borage can be a good ‘nurse’ plant throughout your garden, and works well with almost any plant. Borage is said to be particularly beneficial in accumulating potassium. But what exactly is so great about this plant? So planting borage close to those plants can make a big different to the yields that we get. More people are familiar with borage’s star-like edible flowers, which can be preserved in sugar for cakes, or tossed into salads. Borage Cucumber Salad Dressing @ tasteofhome.com. Attracting birds to your garden will help keep the ecosystem in balance, and help maintain a healthy biodiversity in your garden. What are the reasons to grow it in your garden? Another way to incorporate borage into your garden plan is to use it as a green manure or cover crop, which gathers nutrients, protects the soil and attracts beneficial wildlife before being chopped and dropped to feed the soil ready for the next crop in rotation. Pick blooms early in the morning and use them to brighten up a fresh salad, add some zest to a sandwich, mix into dips, and cook up in soups or stews. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to give borage some space in your garden. Borage is relatively unfussy when it comes to growing conditions. So borage can be a great choice for those with limited time, who want to create a garden where there is less to do each year. Here are just 15 reasons to grow borage in your garden: One of the main reasons to grow borage in your garden is as an edible crop. Borage is a hardy annual edible that is known for its beauty. It is also used in the regulation of female cycles and to promote good heart health. in length. Borage is such a useful plant in the garden, while growing and when harvested, that you may not immediately turn your attention to its uses elsewhere on your homestead. These beautiful flowers are generally blue, though pink flowers are occasionally also observed, and there are also white-flowered cultivars. Not only does it taste great, it is also a common ingredient in herbal medicine, and can be great for your health. Bees are also attracted to borage flowers in preference to those of many other plants. Many of the common plants we grow depend on insects for pollination. Borage is a plant with blue flowers that was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas. They can give your crops a quick boost and help maintain fertility in your growing areas. It grows very well in gardens across Europe and is also common in kitchen gardens across North America. Even if it does not actually repel these pests, borage will still have the other benefits mentioned on this list. So why not get some seeds and plant some in your garden this spring? Borage oil can also be used in making soap, and in making a range of other skin care products. Many bee species and other pollinating insects are endangered. Borage (Borago officinalis) This star-flowered lady boasts blue flowers on tall, gangly stems. Borage is also a medicinal plant–as a compress, tea, tincture or oil extract it has different uses and effects, which will have to be covered in another post. These can be used for cooking though. Traditionally the borage plant was used to treat many ailments, from jaundice to kidney problems. And having these beneficial bugs in your garden can help maintain a balance in the garden ecosystem overall. It is considered an herb but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries. Planting borage with strawberries attracts bees and increases the yield of fruit. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. They believed that the herb was a source of courage and comfort. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in most of Europe, such as Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. Most people barely even know what borage is, let alone what you might do to highlight its flavor. Both the flowers and foliage of the plant are edible. Tall stems may need staking (often when in more fertile soil). A couple of caveats to mention, however: people with liver problems would be best to avoid eating these plants. Once borage goes to seed, the seed also provides food for a range of creatures, including a number of seed-eating bird species, such as finches. There are a great many reasons why you should consider growing borage in your garden. So once you have planted some in your garden, you should find that it seeds itself and pops up all around your growing areas year after year. But there are also other reasons why borage is such a good companion plant. Use the young leaves in green salads, seafood salads fruit salads and even fruit drinks. The stems are hairy and bristly too. But, they can also help create jellies, sauces, drinks, and more. The more you can cover soil, the more you will protect the fragile and essential ecosystem it contains. And no one should make borage a major part of their diet, as it does contain small quantities of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in tiny quantities. This article takes a closer look at the benefits, uses, and potential side effects of borage. The flowers are generally a deeper blue when the plants are grown in poorer soil conditions. Aphids will be drawn preferentially to your borage, which can keep them away from your other crops. It’s a domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Gerard the Herbalist, one of the earliest garden bloggers of the 1500s, wrote, “The leaves and floures of Borage put into wine make men and women glad and merry and drive away all sadnesse, dulnesse, and melancholy…Syrup made of the floures of Borage comforteth the … Bees tend to be attracted to purple/ blue flowers, and the simple structure of borage flowers means that the nectar is easy for bees and other pollinators to access. So how can be use it? Borage is a fairly common domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. It is also known for its medicinal uses to reduce fever, pain and inflammation. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations. You can eat the leaves, raw or cooked, and the flowers, raw, as a garnish or in drinks. What is more, borage is also used in a number of different drinks. This plant’s roots have a simple structure, but the way in which they penetrate the soil can help to break it up and aerate it. Borage, also known as a starflower, is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for … Please click here for more information. The leaves can of course be used as a salad green and the flowers as edible decorations, but to stop there would be an insult to the wide variety of uses for borage. One of the interesting things about borage is that, even though it is an annual, it will generally, once planted, remain in your garden for years. Because it is a tonic plant for the adrenal glands, borage provides an invaluable support for a stressful lifestyle. The leaves contain calcium and potassium and are said to have a cucumber-like flavour. In medicinal use today it is limited, but the seeds are a source of linolenic acid. All information, photographs and web content contained in this website is Copyright © EdibleWildFood.com 2020. Borage arrived in my garden years ago when I planted it not to eat, but as a bee attractant: The more bees in your garden, the better they pollinate its other plants. The leaves, and to a lesser extent the flowers, are demulcent, diaphoretic, depurative, mildly diuretic, … Her young leaves are sweet, cooling, and have a cucumber flavor. Young finely chopped borage leaves may be added to any green salad, but do not add too much because of their hairy texture. So, now you have a much better idea of the reasons to grow borage in your garden, let’s take a little time to explore in a little more depth how you might use it. Let me just google 'borage' for you: Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, bee bush, bee bread, and bugloss, is a medicinal herb with edible leaves and flowers.. Good news! This beautiful plant works well as a … Borage is the common name for Borago officinalis. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. nutrition, recipes, history, uses & more! Borage flowers are edible and can be used to decorate plates Borage contains high amounts of vitamins, especially vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B Vitamin C and vitamin A are two of the best antioxidants, capable of neutralizing the negative effects of free radicals, which can cause many diseases of degenerative nature, including cancer. Borage leaves contain a small amount of silica, which for some people can act as an irritant. But whatever else you choose to do with it, it is worthwhile keeping a few plants aside to use in your kitchen. It has been used as a cure for jaundice. Both the borage leaves and flowers of this distinctive plant are edible herbs. It also improves the soil quality, reduces weeds, and aids in water retention. It flowers from around June right through to October in most temperate climates, and grows to around two feet in height at a medium rate. Borage is an Edible Crop One of the main reasons to grow borage in your garden is as an edible crop. This post may contain affiliate links. In later times there are references to the flowers being embroidered into medieval tapestries . Wild food can help treat various medical conditions. The color of borage, that special deep blue, was symbolic of goodness and caring. In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. It can survive with very free-draining soils and is relatively drought tolerant. Borage flowers are also used in potpourris or … Wherever you choose to grow it, borage is beautiful as well as useful. Since borage captures and stores nutrients (such as potassium) effectively from the soil, it can be beneficial when chopped and dropped around other garden plants as mulch. All around, borage, also sometimes called starflower, is a top choice for gardeners around the world. But perhaps the most important function borage fulfils in a garden is as a boon to bees and other pollinators. 10 Liquid Fertilizers Made From Weeds & Plants @ RuralSprout.com. Here are a few examples demonstrating the different ways that the leaves and flowers can be used: Cucumber Salad With Borage Flowers @ allrecipes.com. When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Borage Leaves as a Vegetable Wash young borage leaves and remove stalks. It can cope with almost all soil types, including soils low in nutritional content. And how exactly should you use it in your garden (and once it is harvested)? She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change. Has the ability to dynamically gather nutrients from the garden is increasing year on –! 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