Borage is a handy little herb that’s right at home in intensive gardens and makes a great companion plant for the backyard gardener. The small blue, edible borage flowers are shaped like stars and borne in clusters that rise up above the plant’s leaves.
Edible Borage Flowers in the Kitchen
Borage flowers are edible and have a mild cucumber like flavor. They are frequently used as a garnish for iced teas, lemonades, and other cold summer beverages. One creative trick is to freeze the tiny flowers right inside of ice cubes which can later be added to your favorite drinks.
The flowers can also be crystallized and used to decorate cakes and other deserts. They can even be used as ingredients in tossed salads and make beautiful additions to fruit salads.
Borage’s Place in the Garden
Borage plants are attractive to bees and other beneficial insects. It’s a great companion in mixed plantings of vegetables and herbs. Borage has also been reported to improve the flavor of tomatoes when grown together with them.
This herb works well in intensive gardens because seeds tucked into vacant spaces will quickly germinate and grow to cover unsightly gaps in the raised beds. The plants can grow two feet tall and spread to cover an area about two feet wide.
Borage grows quickly and will produce a large quantity of green, slightly fuzzy leaves that also have a cucumber like flavor. The plants will grow in full sun and also tolerate partial shade.
Aside from the star shaped edible flowers, borage doesn’t provide much of an ornamental accent so I plant them on the edges of the beds and let them grow into the paths, or plant them between taller plants.
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