T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Borago officinalis (White Borage)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: (unplaced)
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Borago
Species:
B. officinalis
Binomial name: Borago officinalis
Common name:White Borage, Starflower

Borago officinalis is an annual herb originating in Syria naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, South America and now in New Zealand. It grows to a height of 60–100 cm and is bristly or hairy all over. 
The leaves are alternate, simple, and 5–15 cm long.
The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Flowers are most often blue in colour, although white and pink flowers are sometimes observed.
The flowers arise along scorpioid cymes to form large floral displays with multiple flowers blooming simultaneously, suggesting that borage has a high degree of geitonogamy. It has an indeterminate growth habit which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom continuously for most of the year. In New Zealand it mainly flowers September – May. It habitats road sides and waste places.

Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly for oilseed. Borage is used in companion planting. It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries. It is also said to be a good companion plant to tomatoes because it confuses the search image of the mother moths of tomato hornworms or manduca looking for a place to lay their eggs. Claims that it improves tomato growth and makes them taste better remain unsubstantiated.













The bristly stalk..