Borage is an edible herb with an abundance of blue star-shaped flowers. The plant grows between two and three feet in height, and the blooms seem to last and last and last. The longevity and abundance of the blooms are why I grow this herb; they attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden. My bees love them.
The herb was traditionally used medicinally for various conditions, and its seed oil is used today for anything from eczema to heart disease. The leaves are edible and also used to flavor drinks with their refreshing slight cucumber-ish taste; the flowers are used as garnishes, especially in salads. In the past, borage was also candied or jellied. I would love to see a recipes utilizing borage, but I don’t eat mine because I plant it exclusively for the bees to eat.
Borage’s long blooming season makes it an optimal source of continued food for my bees and other pollinators. Honey bees, bumble bees, and other native bees all enjoy borage, and interspersing the herb in your garden also helps to reduce pests while encouraging pollination. Borage is an annual, but its self-seeding tendency means that you’ll have volunteer borage popping up all in your yard—all the better for the bees!
Borage is hardy, lovely, and beneficial. I hope you’ll consider planting some in your garden soon!