Borago Species, Borage, Starflower

Borago officinalis

Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Borago (bor-AH-go) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Borago advena
Synonym:Borago aspera
Synonym:Borago hortensis
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun




Foliage Color:

Light Green

Medium Green


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fort Wainwright, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Phoenix, Arizona

Alameda, California

Amesti, California

Berkeley, California

Corralitos, California

Cypress, California

Elkhorn, California

Encinitas, California

Interlaken, California

Laguna Beach, California

Long Beach, California

Martinez, California

Merced, California

Novato, California

Oakland, California

Pajaro, California

Sacramento, California(2 reports)

San Anselmo, California

San Francisco, California(2 reports)

San Jose, California

San Leandro, California

Santa Clara, California

Torrance, California

Watsonville, California

Willits, California

Danbury, Connecticut

Stamford, Connecticut

Wilmington, Delaware

Delray Beach, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Carrollton, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Winnetka, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Peru, Indiana

Brodhead, Kentucky

Calvert City, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

South China, Maine

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Bay City, Michigan

Albertville, Minnesota

Aurora, Missouri

Belton, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Billings, Montana

Red Lodge, Montana

Bayville, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Deposit, New York

Ronkonkoma, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Pineville, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Toledo, Ohio

Boise City, Oklahoma

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon(2 reports)

Wilsonville, Oregon

Brookhaven, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Florence, South Carolina

Heath Springs, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Belton, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Pearland, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Temple, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Leesburg, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

Yakima, Washington

Milwaukee, Wisconsin(2 reports)

Racine, Wisconsin

Salem, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 15, 2014, FlowerGem1 from irvine, CA wrote:

Borage is such an easy plant to grow. I've grown it successfully in both part shade and in full sun. I grow it specifically to eat the flowers, which are delicate and delicious. The plant can look scraggly after awhile, so I plant some new seeds ever month or so to get the healthy, new plants growing and I just pull up or cut back the old plants when they start to look awful. Bees love this plant.


On Jul 10, 2013, Kim_M from Hamburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love the smell of borage....It has a light cucumber scent. I make borage tea (tisane) from the leaves and flowers. I chop and dry the leaves and store them dry. It has such a smooth crisp taste and one of my favorite teas. It's been traditionally used to make a tea to rid the body of a fever. But also has been said to promote lactation, possessing anti-inflammatory properties, and helping relieve cold symptoms. Including making you feel happy after drinking a cup of borage tea :-)


On Apr 17, 2013, crwilley from Pittsfield Township, MI (Zone 6a) wrote:

I grew borage from seed in 2007 or 2008. I planted two, and got absolutely monstrous plants from the seeds. I never saw the plants without 3-4 bees buzzing around them. I got really good yields off my tomatoes that year.

The one complaint? The next year, I had about 20 seedlings come up in that area, and some as far as 10-12 feet away. I didn't want borage there, and pulled out whatever seedlings I could find. I don't think I missed any, but the year after that, I was still finding borage seedlings, and the year after that, I was still finding borage seedlings... I think they're finally licked... but on the bright side if you like the plant and like where you put it, that one packet of seeds will last you a lifetime.


On Mar 20, 2013, rntx22 from Puyallup, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Purchased this last October & planted it in part sun. It survived winter with
No special care at all. Once it started warming up it has grown rapidly & now has flower buds. Very carefree plant, I really haven't had to do much to it & it is very happy.


On Jul 31, 2011, arsilab from Paddock Lake, WI wrote:

The plant was easy to grow, beautiful, even though i might have confused it with a weed when it first appears. I have done some research on it and apparently the richer the soil, the more spiky it is. It is great for bath infusions, it is anti-inflammatory and relaxing in the tub.


On Jul 7, 2011, thetripscaptain from Durango, CO wrote:

The vegetative growth of Borage is rather weedy, but the flowers are very nice blue stars with dark red stems. The entire plant is covered in trichomes which makes me not really want to eat it even though the tag says it is edible. I am aware this has medicinal uses of some sort but I don't know exactly what they are. This year I just grew it as an ornamental piece and I am rather pleased with it. Does well in a clump of five or six plants growing in a large container.


On Oct 11, 2009, imapigeon from Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Although this plant self-sows a little too readily in my garden, it makes up for it with its beautiful blue blooms, and by being a bee-magnet in early spring when my fruit trees are coming into bloom. The seedlings are easy to pull, and I've ready that it is a particularly good plant to add to compost. Around here, it blooms again in the fall.


On Jul 13, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I find this a happy-go-lucky plant that self sows itself at will. It is easy to pull out unwanted plants, and I typically thin them to not closer than 3 feet from another one, which adds a touch of blue throughout my herb labyrinth without having the borage become a thug. Attracts bees. Try sugaring the blossoms (paint with egg white, dip in superfine sugar, let dry).

Deb, Pacific Northwest


On Jun 18, 2009, lehua_mc from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've started mine from seed on Memorial Day, courtesy Territorial Seed Company, and they are just about leaping out of the ground. Talk about instant gratification!...and update, victim of my own success. They grew 3-4' tall, massive, and then with over 100 degree heat and erratic watering (and water-er), they have all fallen, with all the vigor of the vegetable they are. Crushed you can really get a good whiff of the cucumber!


On Dec 30, 2008, Robubba from Moulton, IA wrote:

It's a good companion with most plants. Tomatoes, squash, and strawberries are good companions. Attracts bees and wasps like chocolate for children. Deters hornworms and cabbage worms. It might increase its neighboring plant's resistance to disease and pests. Borage is said to increase flavor of strawberries.


On Apr 24, 2007, Anitabryk2 from Long Island, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant winter sowed very well.


On Mar 23, 2007, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Borage (Borago officinalis), an intorduced native plant in many states, makes a beautiful showing in late winter and spring in my area. In warmer regions, plant the seeds in October so the plants bloom in the cool months. In areas with cold weather, the seeds can be planted in the spring. It is a great nectar plant for adult butterflies. The foliage and flowers do not emit a fragrance; however, they produce a fresh, cucumber like flavor. After seedlings are up and prospeing, keep the soil on the dry side because over-watering will kill the plants. This plant does not transplant ell because of its deep taproot. The plants might get very top-heavy and need support. It can crush smaller plants nearby or shade late-growing herbs causing them to not prosper.

Caution:... read more


On Jul 20, 2006, jenhillphoto from Danbury, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have borage in my vegetable garden to attract pollinators. Bees love it. Once the borage flowered, I had plenty of bees in my garden. I can see them milling around it from my window in the morning. The blossoms are indeed very pretty. I'm sure I will have lots of little borages popping up next year and that is fine with me.

Wanted to add. Looked out the window the other day and there was a hummingbird checking out my borage. He stayed a while going from flower to flower. The best look at a hummer I've ever had.


On Jul 15, 2006, dyrdiegyrl from Leicester, MA wrote:

This plant does seem to trip along it's own path in my garden, it does almost as well in part shade as full sun. I've seen hummingbirds attracted to it. The compost pile chomps up it's mineral rich leaves.


On Feb 12, 2006, sltxgardener from Sugar Land, TX wrote:

I planted this is late fall '05 from a 4" pot. It is now 18" tall and at least 12" around and has beautiful blue blooms in winter. It still looks great after a light overnight freeze.


On Aug 13, 2004, AlaskaGirl from Fort Wainwright, AK wrote:

I found the Borage in several garden beds in Interior Alaska (Fairbanks). They were very hardy and blooming profusely. We are quickly heading into fall with cool early morning temperatures (50F) which warm to 70F in the afternoon.


On Aug 13, 2004, Popi from Sevilla,
Spain wrote:

This plant grows wild in Spain. From late winter to late spring.


On Jul 14, 2004, csirmons from Novato, CA wrote:

I found this plant growing in my mom's un-cared for pile of dirt backyard in Novato. I think the area might of gotten a bit of water when the concrete was poured for a patio - but otherwise they are thriving (and spreading) completely without my help!


On Jun 12, 2004, bill_casey from Valdosta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Very easy plant to grow and flowers are a nice blue.


On Dec 16, 2003, hashash from Cairo,
Egypt wrote:

I finished my (MS.c) Master degree in Agriculture science on Borage plant & i found alots of surprised, for more information pls. Don't hesitate to contact me on my e.mail: [email protected], or my mobile:+20101634433

yaser hashash


On Sep 21, 2002, welshherblady from Isle of Anglesey,North Wales,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Be aware that Borage self seeds itself everywhere.


On Aug 7, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

I greatly enjoy borage plants every year, though I don't utilize them for culinary purposes. The tall, course stems and leaves are an interesting contrast to the beautiful starlike blue flowers. It will always have a place in my garden... especially since it self-seeds so readily!


On Sep 26, 2001, Baa wrote:

An erect, bristly annual which is native to Southern Europe but is widely naturalised.

Has large, ovate - lanceolate, mid green leaves covered in stiff hairs as they age (walk barefoot with caution). The further up the main stem the leaves become stalkless, clasping and much smaller and pointed. Bears small, star shaped, 5 petalled blue flowers which face downwards. Buds have a soft, downy white appearance. Anthers are purple/black and shaped into a cone.

Flowers anytime between April and September

It favours well drained, poorish soils in full sun.

Borage is the traditional flower of courage and imparts cheerfulness. Ladies would embroider silk hankerchiefs with borage flowers as 'favours' for jousters and soldiers who would c... read more