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018  Borago officinalis L.

Boraginaceae

Nome comune: Borragine comune

Borage, also known as a starflower, is an annual herb originating in Syria, but naturalized throughout the Mediterranean region, as well as Asia Minor, Europe, North Africa, and South America. It grows to a height of 60100 cm (2.03.3 ft), and is bristly or hairy all over the stems and leaves; the leaves are alternate, simple, and 515 cm (2.05.9 in) long. The flowers are complete, perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals. Flowers are most often blue in color, although pink flowers are sometimes observed. White flowered types are also cultivated. The flowers arise along scorpiod cymes to form large floral displays with multiple flowers blooming simultaneously, suggesting that borage has a high degree of geitonogamy. It has an indeterminate growth habit which may lead to prolific spreading. In milder climates, borage will bloom continuously for most of the year. Borage is used in companion planting. It is said to protect or nurse legumes, spinach, brassicas, and even strawberries. It has been scientifically proven to be a good companion plant to tomatoes because it confuses the search image of the mother moths of tomato hornworms or manduca looking for a place to lay their eggs. Claims that it improves tomato growth and makes them taste better remain unsubstantiated. Traditionally borage was cultivated for culinary and medicinal uses, although today commercial cultivation is mainly as an oilseed. Aragonese cuisine. Borage slightly boiled and sauteed with garlic served with boiled potatoes.