Borago officinalis | Also known as: Talewort, Cool tankard | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Borage leaves can be used as a herb and the beautiful, delicate flowers can be used to decorate desserts – is there no end to its uses?!

Borago officinalis is commonly called Borage. A culinary and medicinal herb, is also looks attractive in the garden. It has star shaped flowers that are usually blue, but sometimes pink. The leaves are edible and have a taste similar to cucumber, and so make a nice addition to a salad. Traditionally borage has been used to treat gastrointestinal and urinary conditions. The flowers are also edible and have a sweet taste like honey. They are sometimes used as decorative item for presenting a plate of food, or on a cake. Borage grows well in sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. It doesn't like to be moved, so think carefully about where you are planting it, and leave it there.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Height [m]
  • 0.6
Spread [m]
  • 0.45
Dominant flower colour
  • Blue
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
Foliage in summer
  • Grey-green
Propagation methods
  • seed
Growth habit
  • Branching
  • Clump-forming
  • Erect
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z1-11
Heat zone
  • H12-10
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -46 - 4
Heat days
  • 150 - 210
  • well-drained
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Wild flowers
Grown for
  • Attractive Flowers
Creative category
  • Kid Approved
  • Fast growing
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • For birds & bees
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • Rock garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Wildlife gardens
Garden spaces
  • Flower beds
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • 1 to 2 years