• Legend and Lore • In the Garden

Borago officinalis


  • Native to the Mediterranean region
  • Annual self seeding 60-90cm
  • Rich, moist,
  • well drained Sun to partial shade
  • Blooms July/August

Legend and Lore

In Latin corago signifies “I stimulate the heart” from the Celtic root “barrach” signifies courage. In French “bourru” refers to the hairy leaves. In Arabic “abu-rach” translates to father of sweat the literal sudorific properties of the plant. Native to Mediterranean countries including Morocco, Syria and Turkey, this beautiful star shaped flower propagated itself throughout Europe. The Romans fortified themselves with courage by eating both flowers and leaves. In the Middle Ages in England, borage was cultivated as a medicinal plant to ward off colds, bronchitis and fevers. It also perfumed red wine. This plant was a must have for the American and Canadian colonist.


When examining borage one must be in awe of this stunning star shaped flower of a rare blue. As mentioned associated with courage and an undeniable “joie de vivre” you cannot be sad when looking at it. Flowers start out pink and become a deep blue as they mature.

Borage is a diuretic herb that can soothe irritated skin. Increases perspiration and has a mild sedative and anti-depressant effect. Seeds are rich in gamma-linolenic acid and are incorporated for the treatment of eczema, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating borage as well as people with hepatic conditions.

In the Garden

Well-drained moist soil, full sun, tolerates poor soil but performs better in optimum conditions. Half-hardy perennial best treated as an annual that can escape and self seed, good companion to strawberries, tomatoes, bean, attracts bees and butterflies.

In the Kitchen