Borago officinalis Boraginaceae

Other names

Cool Tankard, Talewort, Tailwort

Growth habit




Biocultural value

Considered to be one of the ingredients in nepenthe, a potion given to quell the deep sorrows of Odysseus' warriors in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey. Flowers can be added to salads, floated on cool drinks and also candied for decorating cakes. Calcium and potassium-rich leaves and flowers stimulate the adrenal glands. Oil in seeds contains gamma-linoleic acid.


Robison Herb Garden, Robison Herb Garden, Robison Herb Garden

Source of plant

Pinetree Garden Seeds


Hispid annual herb to 60cm, erect, robust, often branched. Basal leaves to 15 x 10cm, lanceolate or ovate, obtuse or subacute, base rounded or subcordate, dull green; petiole to 6cm; cauline leaves sessile; amplexicaul. Inflorescence terminal, branched; pedicels to 3cm; calyx to 1.5cm, to 2cm in fruit; corolla to 2.5cm diameter, sky blue to bright or mid-blue, sometimes white, rotate, lobes to 1.5cm, deltoid or truncate-deltoid. Nutlets to 1cm, obovoid-oblong, tuberculate.

USDA Hardiness Zone


Special characteristics

food, medicinal/pharmaceutical