home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Borago officinalis (Borage)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid I > Family: Boraginaceae

 Borago officinalis (Borage)


Believed to be native to the Middle East but ocurs naturally in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. Grown as a garden herb. The leaves and flowers are used more for decorating drinks (e.g. gin) and food (e.g. salads) than for consumption. Flowers are sometimes crystalised and used to decorate puddings and cakes. Oil is extracted from the seeds and used as a dietary supplement (termed "starflower oil") because it contains very high levels (21%) of unsaturated gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is an essential fatty acid.


  • van Wyk, B.-E. 2005. Food Plants of the World - Identification, Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Briza, Pretoria.