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Symphytum officinale (Common comfrey)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.5m
Max height
1.5m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Symphytum officinale

Other names

Common comfrey, Healing herb, Knit-back, Bruisewort, Comfrey consound, Gum plant, Blackwort, Bohemian comfrey, Bone-set, Alum, Backwort, Black root

Genus

Symphytum Symphytum

Species

S. officinale - S. officinale is an invasive herbaceous perennial with large leaves and clusters of nodding, tubular, bell-shaped flowers from late spring to summer. Flowers may be purple, pink or cream.


Symphytum officinale is: Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

If ingested, severe discomfort may result.

Flower

Cream, Purple, Pink in Spring; Purple, Pink, Cream in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Root cuttings


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Where to grow

Symphytum officinale (Common comfrey) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Underplanting, Wildflower, Woodland, Ground Cover

Cultivation

Grow in sun or partial shade in moist, moderately fertile soil. This plant can be invasive.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Symphytum officinale

Other names

Common comfrey, Healing herb, Knit-back, Bruisewort, Comfrey consound, Gum plant, Blackwort, Bohemian comfrey, Bone-set, Alum, Backwort, Black root

Genus

Symphytum Symphytum

Species

S. officinale - S. officinale is an invasive herbaceous perennial with large leaves and clusters of nodding, tubular, bell-shaped flowers from late spring to summer. Flowers may be purple, pink or cream.

Foliage

Deciduous

Habit

Clump-forming

Toxicity

If ingested, severe discomfort may result.


Colour

Flower

Cream, Purple, Pink in Spring; Purple, Pink, Cream in Summer

Foliage

Green in Spring; Green in Summer


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

General care

Propagation methods

Seed, Root cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Symphytum officinale (Common comfrey) will reach a height of 1.5m and a spread of 1.5m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Low Maintenance, Underplanting, Wildflower, Woodland, Ground Cover

Cultivation

Grow in sun or partial shade in moist, moderately fertile soil. This plant can be invasive.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Comfrey as fertiliser

I heard that you can soak Comfrey leaves with nettle leaves in water for a week, then strain it off and dilute the liquid (1 part of the liquid to 10 parts water) to use as an excellent plant food. … read more

common comfrey as fertiliser

Can this plant be used to make comfrey tea to use as fertiliser? read more

There are 3 active discussions about Symphytum officinale (Common comfrey)

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Jennifer Napier
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Darren M Thompson
Cobbett Hill
Cobbett Hill
Richard Rogers

ARTICLES WITH THIS PLANT

The Hartley Botanic Garden

Hartley Botanic has exhibited stunning trade stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for nearly sixty years. For 2016, however, MD Johnny Mobasher is taking their presence at the event to the next… read more

Gardening for bumblebees

By Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Wildflowers have become scarce in the countryside because we've lost  many traditional habitats like hedgerows, hay meadows and chalk grassland. Wherever you… read more


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