Plant DetailShow Menu

Oriental Borage Trachystemon orientalis

Other Common Name(s):

This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Trachystemon comes from the Greek language, trachys translating to rough and stemon to stamen. Orientalis indicates that the origin is eastern or from the orient. 

Early-flowering Borage is a herbaceous perennial that is low maintenance with showy flowers as well as tolerant to erosion, drought, and heavy shade.  It can grow in full sun, but for the best performance, shade is the answer.

Flowers appear in early spring on leafless stems up to 10" tall.  Once the flowers have bloomed, the 10-12" showy, overlapping, mounding, heart-shaped leaves will fill in, creating a blanket of foliage that will deter weeds from taking over your garden.  An excellent ground cover and requires little to no maintenance. 

Spreading by rhizomes, it will naturalize in your garden.  This will also cause this plant to be somewhat invasive.

 Insects, Disease, and Other Plant Problems:  None noted.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#shade garden#low maintenance#erosion control#herbaceous#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#edible roots#naturalizes#edible stems#dry soils tolerant#broadleaf#dry shade
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#shade garden#low maintenance#erosion control#herbaceous#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#edible roots#naturalizes#edible stems#dry soils tolerant#broadleaf#dry shade
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Trachystemon
    Species:
    orientalis
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Bulgaria to Caucasus
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    erosion, drought, heavy shade
    Edibility:
    The flowers, stems, rhizomes and young leaves can all be prepared and eaten.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Mounding
    Prostrate
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The blue/purple flowers have a white throat. They bloom as the foliage is beginning to become developed. Each small flower has a tubular corolla.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The basal leaves are large, up to 12' long. Bristly hairs are present. The leaves overlap each other to form a dense groundcover.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Pink
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems that will stand 18" tall are branched and hairy. They have a pink tint.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Pool/Hardscape
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Problems:
    Invasive Species