Early-flowering Borage in Full Foliage

By Summer, early-flowering borage gives no clue that it had ever had a passion for anything other than foliage, with huge heart-shaped leaves that are as thick and overlapping as those of any hosta. Colonies spread diligently, so a single clump will eventually cover several square yards unless restrained.


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The leaves of Trachystemon orientalis are rough to the touch and, so, are pretty much left alone by browsers. At the right in both pictures, you can see the spent flower clusters. These shots are from June; by July, the foliage had fully expanded, hiding the clusters completely.


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In my garden, so many plants are large-scale that early-flowered borage can flow around their shins with pleasure. Onward and outward, please: This borage is a fearless groundcover that goes where no hosta dare. Could any garden have too much of it? Not mine.



Here's how charming early-flowering borage is when in bloom, plus how to grow it.


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