The University Gardens

Borago officinalis (borage)

Annual salad decoration that lives its own life in the garden

Bjørn Moe

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It is unclear when this plant came to Scandinavia. In older texts, the species is confounded with Buglossa, which is an old name for common bugloss (Achusa officinalis). When Henrik Harpestreng (ca. 1164–1244) wrote that Borago helps against heart pain and trouble with breathing, he was probably referring to older literature. Similar uncertainties probably apply to the writing of Christian Gartner, when he referred to ‘Drue-Urt’ in his garden book from 1694.

The flowers taste like cucumber and are a favorite decoration in green salads, and many people grow it for that reason. It is an annual, but self-seeds and spreads easily. It therefore tends to appear in new places of its own accord.

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