Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as a starflower, is an annual herb in the flowering plant family Boraginaceae. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has naturalized in many other locales. It grows satisfactorily in gardens in most of Europe such as Denmark, France, Germany, the UK climate, remaining in the garden from year to year by self-seeding. The leaves are edible and the plant is grown in gardens for that purpose in some parts of Europe. The plant is also commercially cultivated for borage seed oil extracted from its seeds.

Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower has a sweet honey-like taste and is often used to decorate desserts and cocktails.

Vegetable use of borage is common in Germany, in the Spanish regions of Aragon and Navarre, in the Greek island of Crete and in the northern Italian region of Liguria.
Although often used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne Soße) made in Frankfurt.
In Italian Liguria, borage is commonly used as a filling of the traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti. It is used to flavor pickled gherkins in Poland. 


Borage is a beautiful fuzzy leaved herb with star-shaped blue flowers that would do well in a decorative flower garden. Do not confuse with silverleaf nightshade which is an agricultural pest.

It is fairly easy to grow, even in containers. (Pic1-4) To get bushy plants, sow early in the season and pinch the top to force the plant to branch. Our summer desert heat forces them to bolt.

The leaves and flowers are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor, hence the frequent combination with cucumber in recipes.  


This is what you need for # servings:

  • 1 lb. borage greens
  • 1 cup borage flowers
Pic1: container-grown borage
internet picture



growing borage at home


Pic2: 2017-06-02
Pic3: 2017-07-21
Pic4: 2014-06-27

borage dishes on the internet


Pic5: borage greens
Pic6: borage flowers, cucumber, halibut
Pic7: borage flower ice cubes