Frequently cultivated and sometimes escaping and becoming naturalized. A leafy shrub, which tends to become leggy as it ages. Leaves are narrowly elliptic, 6–25 cm long. The dramatic inflorescence is a 15–40 cm tall, tight, elliptic spike with very many bluish-purple flowers which, on close examination, are in the characteristic coiled form of many other members of the Borage family. The attractions of the plant diminish rapidly once it has finished flowering.