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Borage may derive its name from the Celtic word meaning courage and scientist have found that the plant encourages the production of adrenaline. So a great extra in a salad for guys over forty wanting to stop the onset of middle-aged spread.

Borage or Borago officinalis to the botanist or Starflower to the hippy is a hardy annual and is a good companion plant to strawberries. It attacks blackfly, so can be grown to decoy them away from your preferred crops.

The flower of borage are one of the only true blue edible things and go excellently in a salad. they are rich in nectar and highly attractive to bees and other pollinating insects. They are a plant often grown by beekeepers.

How do you eat it?

Try to avoid the whole leaves raw, they are rather off-puttingly hairy, not a great texture for the tongue.

The leaves have a cucumbery sort of flavour that is perhaps slightly salty. They can be chopped into a salad, or used like spinach and cooked in soups and sauces, they are also often added to soft cheeses.

Be warned, though in small quantities they are fine borage contains a small amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause liver damage... you'd have to eat a lot of it mind you and regularly.

Borage is really easy to grow. It likes a sunny spot and doesn't mind dry, poor soil. Space required is 1 sfg. The plant is a really good self-seeder so you will need to remove the seed heads if you don't want new plant cropping up everywhere.

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