Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 10:29 am

This beautiful, star-shaped, blue-to-purple-colored flower is an annual herb that grows in the flowering plant belonging to the family known as Boraginaceae. The scientific name of this incredible five-petaled flower is Borago officinalis, and it is also known in popular parlance as starflower and bee flower. 

It is not only famous for its striking looks, but this herbal flower is also entirely edible and widely consumed as food and for its medicinal qualities. A native species of the Mediterranean region, it has become naturalized in other places such as Germany, France, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

The borage flower’s meaning and origins can be traced to the Medieval Latin name Borrago which is believed to be of Arabic origin. It is supposed to be derived from the Arabic words abu buraq or abu huras. The former meaning, ‘father of sweat,’ refers to its use in dia­phoretic medi­cines, and the latter meaning, ‘father of roughness,’ indicates its rough surface.

What Does The Starflower (Borage) Symbolize?

The borage flower’s meaning and symbolism can be traced back to ancient Greek times. Many ancient authors have linked this beautiful flower to Euphrosyne, the Greek goddess of joy and delight. Though not directly mentioned by its present name by Homer in his ‘The Odyssey,’ contemporary historians believe that he had indeed referred to it by the name ‘Nepenthe.’ The English philosopher Francis Bacon strongly believed that the borage flower could overcome melancholy, specifically so when consumed along with wine.

A popular tattoo icon, the borage flower has been linked to grace and femininity. It has also long been considered an icon of bravery and courage and was even carried by Roman and Celtic warriors into battle to bring victory.

All in all, the starflower (borage) symbolic meanings are:

  • courage
  • bravery
  • power
  • bluntness

Meaning Of The Starflower (Borage) Colors

Blue color

Blue starflower (borage) symbolizes serenity. It also represents unwavering courage and bravery.

Pink color

Pink starflower (borage) signifies being blunt and straightforward. Often seen as an asset, best that these traits be kept in check!

White color

Starflower, Flower, Dew, Wet, Dewdrops, Raindrops

A white starflower (borage) conveys creative and genuine talent. Together with this, it indicates contentment and satisfaction.

Interesting Facts About The Starflower (Borage)

  • An interesting fact about starflowers (borage) is that though they are a delicacy and medicine for humans, it is not the case with cats and dogs because they represent high toxicity levels for them. Thus, keeping them out of reach from our pets is always a better option. On the other hand, they are very much favored by pollinating insects like bees.
  • Long been a part of traditional medicines, borage flowers are used as a sedative and a diuretic. They are also used to treat kidney diseases and seizures. The leaves of the plant are used to prepare herbal tea, while the seeds are ground to extract the borage seed oil used as a supplement. They also find application in the composition of certain skin creams.
  • Borage flower meaning cannot be complete without mentioning the medicinal properties of the borage oil. This oil is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids and has anti-inflammatory properties. Borage flower has also been used in the treatment of the following disorders. They have been found effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders like colic, cramps, and diarrhea and respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. In treating cardiovascular diseases, they are found to be effective as a cardiotonic, an antihypertensive, and a blood purifier.
  • Because of its honey-like taste, borage flowers are often used in decorating cocktails and desserts. They are also frozen in ice cubes. In Italy, they are used as filling on pasta types like ravioli and pansotti. In Russia and Poland, they are used to flavor pickled gherkins. They have been customarily used in beverages as a garnish in the Pimm’s Cup cocktail.
  • Another interesting tidbit regarding this enchanting flower is that it joyfully fills any person gazing at it. In past centuries, they were used in magic to attain lasting peace and harmony at home. Many still believe eating these unique and blessed flowers will give them happiness and fulfillment. 
  • There is another even more exciting aspect of these flowers. In the olden days, borage flowers were prescribed as a remedy for those prospective lovers who were either too shy to propose or didn’t have the guts to approach their maids. Consuming these flowers was said to work like magic in making them more courageous and propose to their respective matches.

How To Grow Starflower (Borage)

Starflower (borage) is an easy-to-care plant that grows well in various environments and is resistant to pests and illnesses.

  1. Plant the starflower (borage) in moderately moist, well-drained soil.
  2. Place the plant where it can get full sun for the best chance of many blooms and stocky stems.
  3. Water it at least every few days to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
  4. Give periodic feeding with any fertilizer labeled for edible plants, following label instructions. 

How To Care For Starflower (Borage)

  1. Once established or matured, allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
  2. Apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer to aid in flower production.
  3. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage the plants to keep blooming for several weeks.
  4. Prune back the plant by one-half in midsummer to grow tender new leaves for a late summer harvest.

Best Time To Gift Starflower (Borage)

Though not a traditional choice for bouquets, borage plants can be a wonderful gift if you consider gifting someone with live plants. With their symbolism of joy, good health, and courage, these flowers make perfect choices for gifting someone who has just recovered from a serious disease or trauma. They can also be ideal for someone undergoing surgery or any daunting task.


Starflowers (borage) not only please the eye with their star-shaped beauty, but they also tickle the palate. These simple-to-grow flowers deserve a place in every garden.

These flowers are extensively used in companion planting. They benefit and boost the growth of other vegetable and fruit plants when planted alongside. They also protect and bolster the growth of spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, legumes, and brassicas.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!