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.
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.
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.