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Symphytum officinale

Pronunciation: sim-FY-tum oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lee
Family: Boraginaceae
Common Name: Comfrey, Common Comfrey, Knitbone
Plant Type:
  • perennial
Height to: 5ft (1.5m)
Width to: 6ft (2m)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) bears forked cymes of purple-violet, pink, or creamy yellow flowers, to 3/4in (2cm) long.
Soil Type: likes a rich, moist soil. It is not tolerant of prolonged drought.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
Pests and Diseases: Infrequent
Propagation: Sow Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) seed in spring. Comfrey is easily propagated by root cuttings and division, and sterile clones that do not produce seeds must be so propagated.
Native to: Symphytum officinale occurs naturally throughout europe, where it grows in moist meadows, along streams and ponds and along roadsides.
Winter Sowing Zones: 3-8
Notes for Identification:

The plant itself is a rampant, clump forming perennial with coarse, hairy leaves.  Leaves are ovate, to 10 in (25 cm) long. Comfrey has a large tap root and seeds itself freely, to the point of being invasive. However, sterile, non-invasive cultivars are available.  Comfrey is an old world, old style medicinal herb once believed to cure almost anything, including, especially, broken bones. In fact, an older common name is "knitbone", and the genus name means "grow together" in greek. Comfrey has been used as a healing herb since at least 400 b. C. The plant itself is a rampant, clump forming perennial with coarse, hairy leaves and clusters of pink or violet flowers on stems that start out upright, then invariably fall over. Stems and petioles are winged. Leaves are ovate, to 10 in (25 cm) long. The plant forms a clump up to 5 ft (1. 5 m) tall and just as wide. Comfrey has a large tap root and seeds itself freely, to the point of being invasive. However, sterile, non-invasive cultivars are available. Works well around water gardens.

Source: Various sources including Floridata, The American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and the USDA

 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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