BORAGE (Borago officianlis)

By The Old House Web

BORAGE (Borago officianlis)

The cucumber-flavored leaves are used fresh in salads, drinks, and soups, or cooked in stews. They are also sometimes brewed into a tea or prepared like spinach. The colorful blossoms can be added to summer drinks, deserts, and salads; candied for decoration on cakes; brewed to make a mild, spicy tea; or added to potpourris.

This is a decorative annual with 4-to 5-inch coarse, hairy leaves that can cause a skin rash. The plants usually reach a height of 2 to 3 feet, have a spread of 1 to 3 feet, and bear clusters of blue, star-shaped flowers from midsummer to frost.

Sow the seed in early spring after danger of frost is past. The plants prefer a sandy, moist soil in full sun. When the seedlings reach 4 inches tall, thin them to 2 feet apart. Borage reseeds itself liberally. Harvest young leaves before they become coarse; use them fresh or freeze them for later use. The flowers can be harvested at any time.

SOURCE: James C. Schmidt Department of Horticulture Michigan State University

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