Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Borago officinalis
borage, common borage

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across the northern U.S. and Canada to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Waste ground and disturbed soil.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Introduced from southern Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies


Taprooted annuals, the stems 2-6 dm. tall, covered with pungent bristles.


Leaves alternate, the lower petiolate, the blade broadly elliptic to oblanceolate, 3-11 cm. long and 2-6 cm. wide; cauline leaves reduced upward, becoming sessile and often clasping.


Inflorescence a loose, terminal cyme, leafy-bracteate below; pedicles 1-4 cm. long, recurved in fruit; sepals 5, narrow, densely bristly, 1-1.5 cm. long; corolla blue, rotate, 2 cm. wide, with 5 acute lobes; fornices well developed; filaments 5, attached at the level of the fornices, prolonged past the base of the anther into appendages 3 mm. long.


Nutlets 4, nearly cylindric, 4-5 mm. long, attached basally by a projection that fits into a pit.

Accepted Name:
Borago officinalis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 137. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Borago officinalis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Borago officinalis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Borago officinalis information

E-Flora BC: Borago officinalis atlas page

CalPhotos: Borago officinalis photos

9 photographs:
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