Borago officinalis ‘Bianca’
Organic annual (but has grown from roots here in Albuquerque after mild winters)
Compact habit, white flowers! A big improvement on an old favorite.
Plants are more compact and sturdier than the standard blue variety.
Grows only 12-20″ tall, which makes it suitable for pots as well as the garden.
Borage is a freely seeding, easy growing annual plant with vivid blue flowers and leaves with the flavor of cucumbers. It is consider an herb, but is often grown as a flower in vegetable gardens where it attracts pollinating bees and is considered a good companion plant for tomatoes, squash and strawberries. It’s even supposed to deter tomato hornworms and improve the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby.
Both the flowers and the leaves are edible, with a cucumber-like flavor. Use the leaves while they are young, because as the plant matures, the stalks and leaves become covered with a prickly fuzz.
As mentioned above, borage is often grown in the vegetable or herb garden because it is such a bee magnet and because it is considered a good growing companion for other plants. However, it is equally beautiful in a cottage style flower garden, where it has room to self-seed. Harvesting or deadheading will keep it in bloom longer.
Borage grows best if direct seeded. Barely cover the seeds with soil and keep moist during germination. Seeds will die off if left to dry. They are tolerant of any type soil, even poor dry soil. However a sunny location with rich, well draining soil is optimal.
If you choose to start seedlings, transplant before they become pot bound. Plan to start seedlings about 3-4 weeks before the last expected frost and don’t transplant outdoors until the soil has warmed.
Pack 40+ seeds