I’ve never been able to determine why borage (Borago officinalis) flowers, which are typically blue, sometimes turn pink. Some books mention the possibility of pink and even white flowers but don’t account for why they appear.
I don’t think it is related to soil pH as is the case with some flowers.
Could it be fertility? I’ve been amending and improving on the soil at my community garden for years and am noticing more borage flowers this year than ever before.
This leads to the possibility of weather as a factor since it’s been unseasonably cool and rainy around here. But then again, it was awfully rainy last year and I don’t remember spotting any pink flowers at m plot.
Borage has been self-seeding in my community garden plot for as long as I’ve had it, most likely inherited from Peter, the gardener that came before me. Plenty of little seedlings come up around the plot but I don’t find it to be as aggressive as dill, feverfew, or artemisia. Do not get me started on the invasive nature plant! We’ve been locking horns for years and the artemisia always comes out on top.
Every year I let most of the plants grow to a certain size before I start culling. Borage tends to fair better in poor soils. The borage at my community plot have grown taller and lankier as I’ve improved the fertility of the soil. I let the stockiest plants with the thickest stems stay put as long as they’re not in a spot predestined for something more important like a tomato, zucchini, or pepper. Some plants have grown to be taller than me with stems as thick as 2″ or more!
I add the flowers to salads and drinks, and sometimes eat the very young, most tender leaves raw. Many books suggest adding the chopped leaves, which have a slight cucumber flavor, to cream cheese but I have never tried this.
The best recipe I have been able to come up with for the pricklier leaves and stems are fritters. To make them simply make up a batter, add chopped onion and borage leaves and fry spoon-sized dollops in hot canola oil. You can quickly blanch the leaves and stems if they seem too hard.
Borage is also an anti-inflammatory that is sometimes used in beauty products such as creams and toners to treat skin conditions.