2.27 Borage

Botanical name: 

Photo: Borago officinalis 8. Latin name: Borago officinalis.

2.27.1 Growing borage

From Jennifer A. Cabbage <fxjac.camelot.acf-lab.alaska.edu>:
Borage is a very hardy annual native to the Mediterranean. It grows to 2 feet tall, or even 5 feet in rich soil, and has beautiful blue flowers. It is an extremely tolerant plant, doing well in average and poor dry soils (pH between 5 and 8), but it is difficult to transplant due to its tap root. It is a good plant for container culture, planted in a large tub with smaller herbs arranged around the edge.

Borage is easily grown from seed. Plant ½ in. deep (about the time of the last frost outdoors), seeds will germinate in 7 to 14 days. Plant in full sun or partial shade, thin 18 in. to 2 feet apart. To encourage leaf growth, supply rich moist soil. To encourage flowers, hold the fertilizer and give plenty of sun.

Leaves give off sparks and pop when burned due to nitrate of potash.

2.27.3 Using / preserving borage

From Jennifer A. Cabbage <fxjac.camelot.acf-lab.alaska.edu>:
Fresh leaves are best, but can be dried. Harvest leaves for drying as plant begins to flower. Dry very carefully - quickly, good air circulation, and with no overlapping of leaves. Flowers can be dried to add color to potpourri.

Fresh leaves and flowers have a spicy, cucumber-like taste and an onion-like smell. Young leaves or peeled stems are good chopped in salads, or leaves can be boiled as a pot-herb. The flowers make a colorful addition to salads and a flavorful addition to lemonade. Add borage to cabbage-type vegetables, gravies, or spiced punches. In some areas of France, the flowers are dipped in batter and fried. Flowers can also be candied.

Borage Flower Tea: handful of fresh leaves steeped in 1-2 quarts of water, add one or two sprigs of spearmint. Makes a refreshing summer beverage.

Borage and Rosemary Wine: Steep a handful of fresh rosemary (or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary) and 2 tablespoons dried borage leaves in one bottle of white wine for a week or more. Strain through cheesecloth or a paper coffee strainer.

Candied Borage Flowers: Brush flowers with lightly beaten egg white, then dip in superfine granulated sugar. Spread to dry.