E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Borago officinalis L.
common borage
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9308)

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Distribution of Borago officinalis
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Species Information

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Annual herb from a taproot, stiff-hairy or bristly, with cucumber-scented juice; stems ascending to erect, usually branching above, 20-70 cm tall.
Lower leaves stalked, blades broadly elliptic or egg-shaped to oblanceolate, 5-15 cm long and 2-6 cm wide, the others reduced and shorter-stalked upwards, the uppermost often unstalked and clasping, alternate, entire or wavy-edged.
Inflorescence of several loose, terminal clusters with leafy bracts below; flower stalks spreading to drooping; corollas flat or somewhat backswept, star-shaped; petals bright blue, fused at base, spreading wide (to 2 cm across) to 5 sharp-pointed lobes, with 5 erect, notched, white, glabrous bulges at the throat; stamens purplish-brown, sticking out from the flower and forming a cone; fruiting calyces 1-1.5 cm long, densely bristly.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, oblong or egg-shaped, 4-6 mm long, irregularly ridged and pimply, with a swollen budlike basal attachment surrounded by a thickened rim.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist waste places in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in S BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References