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Borago officinalis, also known as ‘starflower’ has been found in herb gardens through the ages, as it has remarkable qualities, as well as being an attractive plant. It is a robust variety that is adorned with bright green bristly leaves and clear blue flowers which grow around the stem throughout the summer.
Borage is an exceptionally tough customer that has spread across the globe from its origins in the Mediterannean. As an annual, Borage will seed itself happily across the garden if allowed. (To avoid this, simply remove the seed heads after flowering.)
Borage has many uses, from the medicinal to the culinary: the leaves were used as a saline diuretic and the flowers are still used to decorate summer drinks, like Pimms and cordials. The leaves have a cucumber flavour and can be shopped into salads or soft cheeses.