|Copyright: Sayat Arslanlioglu (sayat)
|Date Taken: 2007-05-11|
|Camera: Canon PowerShot A80|
|Exposure: f/4.5, 1/79 seconds|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2007-08-08 3:37|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Taken on a roadside near a rubble pile.|
Borage (TR: HODAN)
Range: C. Europe.
Habitat Waste ground near houses.
Edibility Rating 3 (1-5) Medicinal Rating 3 (1-5)
Annual growing to 0.6m by 0.3m.
It is hardy to zone 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soil. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds; South Wall In; West Wall In;
Edible Parts: Flowers; Leaves.
Edible Uses: Colouring; Oil; Tea.
Leaves - raw or cooked. They can be used as a pot-herb or be added to salads. They are also added whole as a flavouring to various drinks such as Pimms and wine-based drinks. The leaves are rich in potassium and calcium, they have a salty cucumber flavour. Very hairy, the whole leaves have an unpleasant feeling in the mouth and so they are best chopped up finely and added to other leaves when eaten in a salad. The leaves should always be used fresh, because they lose their flavour and colour if dried. Flowers - raw. They are used as a decorative garnish on salads and summer fruit drinks. The flowers are very nice, both to look at and to taste with a sweet slightly cucumber-like flavour. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves and/or the flowers. The dried stems are used for flavouring beverages. The seed yields 30% oil, 20% of which is gamma-linolenic acid. Total yields are 0.35 - 0.65 tonnes per hectare. Unfortunately, the seed ripens intermittently over a period of time and falls from the plant when it is ripe, this makes harvesting the seeds in quantity very difficult. An edible blue dye can be obtained from the flowers. It is used to colour vinegar.
Demulcent; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emollient; Expectorant; Febrifuge; Hypotensive; Lenitive; Poultice; Sedative; Skin; Women's complaints.
Borage is a fairly common domestic herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. It has a particularly good reputation for its beneficial affect on the mind, being used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria. It is a soothing saline, diuretic herb that soothes damaged or irritated tissues. The leaves, and to a lesser extent the flowers, are demulcent, diaphoretic, depurative, mildly diuretic, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, lenitive and mildly sedative. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of a range of ailments including fevers, chest problems and kidney problems, though it should not be prescribed to people with liver problems. Externally it is used as a poultice for inflammatory swellings. The leaves are harvested in late spring and the summer as the plant comes into flower. They can be used fresh or dried but should not be stored for more than one year because they soon lose their medicinal properties. The seeds are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid, this oil helps to regulate the hormonal systems and lowers blood pressure. It is used both internally and externally, helping to relieve skin complaints and pre-menstrual tension.
The growing plant is said to repel insects. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers. This turns pink on contact with acids.
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, preferring a dry soil and a sunny position. It grows particularly well in loose, stony soils with some chalk and sand. Plants are tolerant of poor dry soils, though much bigger specimens are produced when the plants are growing in better conditions. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.8 to 8.3. Borage is often grown as a culinary plant in the herb garden. Although an annual, it usually maintains itself by self-sowing, sometimes in quite a prolific manner, as long as the soil is disturbed by hoeing etc. Plants often develop mildew when growing in dry conditions or towards the end of the growing season. Flowers are a deeper blue when grown in poorer soils. The flowers are rich in a sweet nectar and are very attractive to bees. The growing plant is a good companion for strawberries, tomatoes, courgettes and most other plants. It is said to deter Japanese beetle and tomato hornworms.
Seed - sow April/May in situ. The plants quickly develop a stout tap-root and do not transplant successfully. The seed can also be sown in situ in the autumn, this will produce larger plants and earlier flowering. The plant usually self-sows prolifically.
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