Borago officinalis

25 May

Borago officinalis (18/05/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Borago officinalis (18/05/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Early summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60m

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Boraginaceae

Borago officinalis is an annual herb. Its mid green basal leaves are petiolate to ovate with entire margins, hairy, up to 15cm long and 7cm broad. Its upper stem leaves are smaller. Its stems are erect and branched. Its numerous star shaped hermaphrodite flowers are up to 2cm across an produced at the ends of its stems. The flower colour ranges from blue, pink to white. Its fruit is in the form of black/ brown nutlets and its seed will readily germinate.

Borago officinalis, commonly known as Borage or Starflower, is native to the Mediterranean region. In its native habitat it grows in damp grassy places, ditches and river banks. This plant has a long history of medicinal and culinary use.

Borago officinalis Flower (18/05/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Borago officinalis Flower (18/05/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Borago is likely to be derived from the Latin burra meaning ‘shaggy, hairy garment’, in reference to its leaves. Officinalis is derived from the Latin translating as ‘of the shop’.

The landscape architect may find Borago officinalis useful in wildlife gardens due to its attractiveness to pollinating insects. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Ecologically, Borago officinalis is very attractive to pollinating insects.

Borago officinalis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It prefers moist soils. It will tolerate poor soils.

Borago officinalis requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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