Borage Plant Offers Many Uses

April 29, 2017 in Flowers and Bulbs by Christine

Borage Plant Flowers All That You Wanted To Know About Borage Plants

Borage plant a garden plant with many usesBorage Plant is an annual herb that is ideal to be grown in gardens. It is commonly known as the Starflower, bee bush or bee bread. This herb has got medicinal properties and its leaves and flowers are edible. It belongs to the flowering plant family Boraginaceae and can be seen in your garden year after year through self-seeding. The binomial name of the plant is Borago Officinalis.

Description of Borage

In a good year the Borage plant or the Starflower can grow to a height of about 60 to 100 cm. You will see the stems and the leaves of this plant to be slightly hairy. They can spread along the ground prolifically and have the tendency to bloom all through the year in milder climatic regions. The leaves are simple and alternately arranged. The Borage leaves are 5 to 15 cm long. The flowers of this plant are mostly blue in colour and some of the plants will produce pink or white flowers. They are perfect looking flowers with five triangular shaped and narrow petals. These flowers arise in bunches and you can see multiple flowers blooming at a given time.

Growing Borage

The Borage or Starflower is very easy to grow and care for. They are prolific self-seeders and can spread very quickly along the ground. You can sow the Borage seeds in your garden. They must be sown to a depth of at least three times the diameter of the seed. The soil temperature where you plant the seeds must be between 10 and 25 degrees C. Each Borage plant has to be spaced 20 cm apart in order to encourage good flowering. Any excess seedlings that sprout, will need pulling out so that the preferred plants will perform well. The seeds can be sown in full or partial sunlight. These plants will grow 2 feet wide and hence you should give room for the plant to grow. These plants prefer good clean well draining soil. By adding a mix of organic compost in the soil will help in its growth.

Use of Starflower

There is a wide range of uses that the Borage plant offers. The leaves and the flowers of the Borage are edible and have medicinal properties.

  • The plant has the taste of a cucumber and hence is used in salads.
  • They are also used when cooking vegetables in particular, silver beet and cabbage.
  • The flowers of the Borage are used to decorate desserts and cocktails as it has a sweet honey taste.
  • It can be used in soups, to make Strawberry-Borage cocktails and Borage Lemonade, various sauce preparations, preserves and also to make Borage Jelly.
  • It is used in alternative medicine that will help in stimulating breast milk production.
  • Borage is used in the garden to repel pests and pollinators.
  • It is compatible with most plants like strawberries, spinach, legumes and tomatoes. It is ideal for companion planting.
  • Borage is used in culinary preparation as a fresh vegetable or a dried herb to enhance the flavour of dishes.
  • It is used as herbal medicine to treat cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, urinary disorders, to clear airways, purify blood and also for gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Borage adds minerals to the soil and hence is very good for mulching and composting.
  • Borage oil is rich amounts of GLA and hence is a popular anti-inflammatory supplement.
  • The other uses of Borage oil are to treat skin disorders, symptoms of menopause, to relieve arthritis pain, manage diabetes, reduce stress, etc.
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