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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wild flowers of Malta: Borage

Borage (Borago officinalis) is a wild plant that is commonly found in the Maltese countryside. Between January and  May the plants are covered with tiny blue star-shaped flowers which have white and black centres. Small, stiff bristles grow on the stems and leaves. Borage was originally a native of Syria but has now spread all over the Mediterranean, North Africa, Europe and Asia Minor. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible and, in some countries, are sometimes included in salads since they have a sweet, cucumber-like taste. The flowers are sometimes candied and used to decorate cakes.

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Borage is said to have various medicinal properties and has been used to calm nerves, as a diuretic, tonic, emollient, sedative and expectorant, amongst other uses.

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Very rarely the plant may produce pink or white flowers. However, I have only seen these flowers in photos. I hope that one day I will come across them on one of my countryside walks so that I can share them with you. In truth, I find the blue-coloured flowers to be quite interesting since they  provide an interesting contrast to the more common yellows and whites of other wild flowers.

12 comments:

  1. I'm wondering/imagining how this flower taste like. I agree, blue flowers aren't common. I haven't seen this flower here or in my travels yet.

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  2. I Love borage..and it is such a powerful healer and wonderful plant ally! Gorgeous captures!!Beautiful post!

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  3. How pretty .. and fascinating.. I've always found herbal remedies to be kinder to us than the alternative... and lovely to see their origins

    Have a wonderful week Loree... ciao .. xxxx Julie

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  4. Beautiful flower. My first thought when I read that it was edible was how lovely it would be crystalized or on a salad.
    Wishing you a beautiful early March week!
    xoxo, B

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  5. Very delicate and pretty. I'd love to taste them!

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  6. They really are quite lovely. I remember that Francesca from FuoriBorgo made some absolutely gorgeous borage flower ravioli last spring. Here's the link to her post if you're interested:

    FuoriBorgo's floral ravioli

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  7. Howdy Loree
    Fabulous Post !!!!
    While I have been away from blogging you have been on my heart .
    Your beautiful Island that blesses me to the depth of my soul has been on my mind daily.
    As news reports about troubles in Libya came I felt such a deep concern for your wonderful Island .While I wept for the people of Libya I must confess a selfish concern they would not over flow your Island home and change it's amazing landscape .I am so glad to once again have the gift of visiting your beautiful blog !Thank you sweet Loree for sharing your talent for capturing nature in all her glory .
    Until next time
    Happy Trails

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  8. I'm wishing you a most lovely weekend, dear Loree.
    xoxo, B

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  9. I had a white one growing in a pot on my patio two years ago, it was very photogenic, but the blue ones look prettier in a salad!

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  10. This is a beautiful flower! Wonder if we have them here in the US..

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  11. Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. keep it up.

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    Replies
    1. Glad you thought it was interesting.

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