In this study, an adsorptive membrane was prepared for efficient boron removal. Poly(glycidyl methacrylate) was grafted on the surfaces of the regenerated cellulose (RC) membrane via surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization, and N-methylglucamine was used to further react with epoxide rings to introduce polyhydroxyl functional groups, which served as the major binding sites for boron. The pristine and modified membranes were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), dynamic water contact angle measurement, and scanning electron microscopy. It was shown that the designed functional groups were successfully grafted onto the RC membrane, and surface modification contributed to higher boron binding capability. The optimal pH range for boron adsorption was 4-8. Under a neutral pH condition, the maximum adsorption capacity of the modified membrane was determined to be 0.75 mmol/g, which was comparable with those of commercial resins. Studies of electrolyte influence indicated the formation of inner-sphere surface complexes on the membrane surface. The ATR-FTIR and XPS analyses showed that secondary alcohol and tertiary amine groups were mainly involved in boron adsorption, and tetrahedral boron complexes were found on the membrane surface.