Thursday, July 24, 2008

All you ever wanted to know about Borage....

Photo: Wikipedia

but were afraid to ask. Well Melinda wasn't so here goes-
A bit more about borage- here is what I found out about borage from wikipedia:
The leaves have been found to contain small amounts (10 ppm of dried herb) of the liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids: intermedine, lycopsamine, amabiline and supinine. They taste like fresh cucumber and are used in salads and soups especially in Germany.
The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste and, being one of the few truly blue-colored edible things, is often used to decorate desserts and dishes.
Tea made from the dried flowers is a traditional calming drink in Iran. It has a rich purple color that turns bright pink by adding a few drops of lemon juice.
Interest in borage remains high because it is the highest known plant based source of gamma-linolenic acid (18:3, cis 6,9,12-octadecatrienoic acid). The seed oil is often marketed as "starflower oil" or "borage oil."

I first got interested in borage from Sharon’s blog, I think. Maybe another blog. Anyway, One of her (whoever owns the blog I read) sons likes borage because it tastes like cucumber to him. Tastes like cucumber? That's all it takes to make want some, I needed to find out more.
USES:
Tea
Decorate desserts
German Green Sauce: There are two traditional types of Hessian Green Sauce which are popular in the Frankfurt am Main and Kassel area. The Frankfurt-style is made from hard-boiled eggs, oil (but not olive oil), vinegar, salt, and generous amount of seven fresh herbs, namely borage, sorrel, cress, chervil, chives, parsley, and salad burnet. Variants, often due to seasonal availability include dill, lovage, lemon balm and even spinach or basil. In more frugal times, daisy leaves, broad plantain leaves, and dandelion leaves were also used. Since the sauce is mainly an emulsion of fat and egg yolk, it may be classified as a kind of mayonnaise (although common mayonnaise uses raw yolks.)
GROWING BORAGE:
This distinctive annual has branching stems that grow from a single tap root to about 40cm(15.75 inches) tall. The gray-green leaves are 8-12cm(3.5 - 4.72 inches) long and, like the stems, are covered with bristly hairs. Borage produces beautiful star shaped, peacock blue flowers that nod downward in leafy clusters at the tips of stems. Plants are best used where they can be seen close up: in border plantings and in containers, for example. They take up a lot of room in the garden and don't transplant well, so space plants a generous distance apart.

3 comments:

Melinda said...

Wow, nice post - I'm convinced! And nice photo, too - beautiful and useful and tasty - good combo!

Robj98168 said...

I cannot take credit for the picture- it was found on wikipedia

Scrub Oak said...

Thanks for all the information, Rob. It's a handsome plant, isn't it? I grew some last year from seed but didn't this year. Two plants came up volunteer. I didn't even try any last year, not being familiar with how to use it. Will try some this year even it its just to pretty up a salad.