Native to Mediterranean climates, borage has since Homer's day been a prized medicinal and culinary herb; as a companion plant in an edible garden, it will ward off pests.
How to Plant
Days to Mature
Borage: A Field Guide
Borage comes by its nickname—starflower—honestly, with bright blue or white starbursts when it blooms. It will thrive in sunny spots with well-drained soil and if bees had to pick a favorite flower, this annual herb would win; its nectar proves irresistible to pollinators.
Don’t be misled by the fact that Borago officinalis is a true annual, which means its life cycle unfolds over the course of a single year. (An annual plant germinates, grows, flowers, and dies in the course of a growing season.) You can count on borage to self-sow in the garden; it will pop up next year in unexpected but delightful clumps. Borage is also delicious in salads, its leaves adding a flavor reminiscent of cucumber (borage flowers are sweet like honey—try them). Tip: Watch out for its hairy leaves, which can be prickly; wear gloves when you’re cutting back or pulling borage plants from the garden.