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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bloom Day Bs



Borage (Borago officinalis) is welcome in my garden not only because it attracts insects like a magnet but the star shaped blue flowers aren't too shabby either.

Occasionally there is a pink flower like this one, maybe these are older sun-faded flowers or ones that haven't been pollinated.













Part of the attraction for insects is the flowers, but also the hairy stems and leaves provide good habitat for a variety of buggies usually.  The borage is doing its part putting out lots of blooms and hairiness, but our days are so cool and sunless the insects just haven't revved up into summer mode yet.


Just a few dedicated honeybees were found visiting the borage flowers.


After the flower is pollinated the ovary swells; each one has four spots for seeds although a lot of the seeds fall out before you notice them.













I hear that borage will grow readily from seeds, although mine hasn't yet self-sowed successfully.

Borage is grown commercially for the seed oil; I read that it is a good companion for tomatoes because it deters tomato hornworm.  Next year I'll try that instead of deadly nightshade.

2 comments:

Larry said...

Borage is a lovely plant and your photos do it justice... nice post ! Larry

forestwalk/laura k said...

great pictures...so cool to be so up close to be able to see the plants tiny hairs!
and thanks for the info too...esp about growing with tomatoes as last year i lost an entire plant overnight to the hornworm!