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A picture of a Borage


Borago officinalis

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Also known as

Cool Tankard, Talewort, Tailwort, Beebread, Beeplant, Common Borage, Starflower

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








2 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Borage

A photo of Borage
A photo of Borage
A photo of Borage
A photo of Borage
A photo of Borage

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Borage Overview

Borago officinalis is commonly known as Borage, it is a pretty, coarsely hairy, herbaceous annual plant from the Boraginaceae family that has a variety of uses, both culinary and medicinal. The leaves and star-shaped flowers are both edible and taste of cucumber and honey respectively. This plant also deters hornworms from laying eggs on tomatoes, making them a great companion plant. Borage is great for beginner gardeners and those that like low maintenance gardens. Borage was once used to flavour wine and was historically used to give men courage. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with Borage

Foliage may be damaged by slugs, leaf-mining flies or affected by powdery mildew. Overall pest and disease resistant.

    Borage Companion Plants

    Strawberries, eggplant, tomatoes, gourds, cucumber

    How to harvest Borage

    Harvest leaves throughout the year and flowers during the summer and autumn, preferably in the morning. Borage should only be used fresh, as it loses its flavour once dried. Leave flowers to self-seed after flowering.

    How to propagate Borage


    The flowers can be cut at the stalks and put into dry paper bags to help them dry out over a couple of weeks. When the flower heads are completely dry, shake the bag to release the seeds from the heads and remove the dead flowers. Sow seeds shallowly in spring or summer. Germination takes 7-10 days.


    Divide rootstocks in spring.


    Plant shoot cuttings in summer or autumn in sandy soil in a cold frame.

    Special features of Borage

    Attracts useful insects

    Known to attract bees.

    Crop rotation

    Borage is a light feeder and plants do not need a lot of nutrients.

    Repels harmful insects

    Repel hornworms.

    Attractive flowers

    Attracts bees

    Other uses of Borage

    Culinary, medicinal, compost improver



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