A great cover or companion plant due to its weed smothering foliage and pollinator attracting flowers. Blooms with small blue blossoms that are edible and beautiful. Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. The seed oil is desired as source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), for which borage is the highest known plant-based source (17-28%). The seed oil content is between 26-38% and in addition to GLA contains the fatty acids palmitic acid (10-11%), stearic acid (3.5-4.5%), oleic acid (16-20%), linoleic acid (35-38%), eicosenoic acid (3.5-5.5%), erucic acid (1.5-3.5%), and nervonic acid (1.5%). The oil is often marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil" for uses as a GLA supplement, although healthy adults will typically produce ample GLA through dietary linoleic acid. 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, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste and is one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances, is often used to decorate desserts. Bushy 2-3' annual likes sun, prefers moist well-drained soil, will self sow. Young plants are easy to move around. Survives light frosts.
Direct sow Borage in partial shade or full sun into well drained, rich soil; it can also grow very well in poor soil or dry conditions. After the last frost of spring when the soil has warmed, sow seeds 1/4" deep and 12-15" apart in rows 18" apart. Germination should occur within 7-14 days. As a companion plant to strawberries or tomatoes, borage improves pollination, discourages pests, and attracts bees.