Hardy annual. Hairy plant with dainty blue jewel-like flowers which are beloved by bees. Height up to 2ft. Self-seeds freely. Grow in well-drained soil and some or full sun. Warning. Leaves can be an irritant. We have the common blue variety and a white-flowered variety. Flowers attract bees and help pollinate crops such as beans and tomatoes. Warning: Leaves may irritate some skins. Drop flowers into Pimms as a replacement for cucumber. Use young leaves and flowers in salads. Add leaves to pea or bean soup.
Francis Bacon said: “the leaf of borage hath an excellent spirit to repress the vapour of dusky melancholie.”
Summer cider cup: 1pint dry cider, 1 liquer glass Cointreau, sliced lemons, oranges strawberries, 3 strips cucumber, peeled, 10 borage leaves, shredded, 1 pint fizzy mineral water.
Mix all bar water. Chill for an hour. Mix with water. Serve.
(Jane Newdick, Magic of Herbs)