Annual. Native to Africa & Asia. There are many varieties: O. basilicum is the standard green variety with white flowers. It has large, toothed, oval, pointed bright green leaves with a warm, clove-like scent. The small flowers are slightly scented. O. b. ‘Dark Opal’ has crinkled purple leaves with pale pink flowers.
A hardy annual that easily self-sows. The bright blue starry flowers are in nodding clusters all summer. Leaves are dark-gray-green, oval-pointed, with prickly hairs. The stem has a cucumber-scented juice. Attracts bees and is a good companion plant with Strawberries & Tomato plants.
Harvest flowers by gently squeezing behind the flower, holding on to the black stamens. The leaves are also used.
Preserve the flowers by drying them, freezing them in ice cubes or crystallize them.
In Medieval times, Borage was used to give courage before Crusades and also makes people merry and dispels melancholy.