Borage, also known as the Star Flower, is a wild flower that is often cultivated and grown in gardens.
It can be identified by its bristly or hairy stems and leaves, and its flowers are perfect with five narrow, triangular-pointed petals.
The flowers are most often blue, although pink or white flowers occur sometimes.
The fresh vegetable comes with a cucumber-like taste, and is often used in salads or as a garnish.
The flowers have a sweet taste reminiscent of honey, and are often used to decorate desserts and cocktails.
The seeds are also 26 – 38% borage seed oil, which are a very rich source of gamma-linolenic acid.
Does this nutritional benefits make borage suitable? Can horsefield tortoises eat borage flowers?
Despite the sweetness of the flowers, the richness of the seeds, and the peculiar qualities of the leaves of the Star Flower, it is BAD (not edible) for horsefield tortoises.
This is because the flowers and leaves of the borage plant contain the alkaloid pyrrolizidine, which can lead to the development of liver damage.
It also has a negative calcium to phosphorus ratio, which makes it unsuitable as a tortoise food (because calcium is needed to build tortoise shells) and as such makes it not suitable for a horsefield diet.
Can Horsefield Tortoises Eat Borage?
Bottom line, it is rated ‘Do Not Feed’ by the Tortoise Table, due to its very high toxicity to horsefield tortoises, and its deficiency in nutrients.
Also Find Out: Can Horsefield Tortoises Eat Boston Fern?
So, while borage has been a popular component of many human delicacies for centuries, it should NEVER be fed to horsefield tortoises.