Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, is an ornamental and edible herb native to the Mediterranean region. It grows quite easily and has been cultivated in Europe, Great Britain, and North America. The drooping blue flowers produce a high volume of nectar and are very popular with bees and other pollinators.

Borage has been used since the time of ancient Rome as a medicinal herb, claiming to improve moods, give courage, and comfort hearts. Tea can be made from flowers and leaves which is said to be beneficial to the digestive system and soothe colds.

Borage can be used in many dishes as a flavouring herb, cooked as a side vegetable, or used fresh in salads. The flowers can be frozen in ice cubes to add to summer drinks and cocktails.

This hairy annual herb can grow up to 90 centimetres tall and can spread easily by self-seeding.

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Learn more about borage from the Permaculture Research Institute.