Borage is also known as starflower and originated in Syria.
This annual has oval leaves on hairy stems, which are both cucumber scented when crushed, and blue flowers with black stamens. The flowers have a sweet honey-like taste and are used to decorate salads and cakes and are frozen in ice cubes. The cooling, mineral-rich leaves flavor drinks, dips and salt-free diets.
Planting borage in the garden encourages beneficial green lacewings to lay lots of eggs. Swiss studies have discovered that there are more young lacewings, their eggs and hatchlings (called Aphid lions!) among borage plants than anywhere else in the garden. Intersperse plantings of borage throughout your garden to feed the Aphid lions, lacewings and seriously drop the population of aphids in your garden this season.
In Liguria, Italy, borage is commonly used as a filling of ravioli.
A leaf and flower infusion is an adrenalin tonic taken for stress, depression, or cortisone and steroid treatment. It reduces fevers, dry coughs, and dry skin rashes and stimulates milk flow. Pressed seed oil can be used like Evening Primrose for menstrual and irritable bowel problems, eczema, blood pressure, arthritis, and hangovers. Leaves should be eaten in moderation. Plants are up to 24" in height.
Borage grows well indoors.
Approx 40 seeds per pack