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Native alternative(s) for Symphytum grandiflorum:
Echinacea purpurea Flowers (Wake County, NC)
Phlox stolonifera Phlox stolonifera
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Buddleja Lo & Behold® 'Lilac Chip' 'Lilac Chip' form
Betonica officinalis Betonica officinalis
x Heucherella Heucherella
Symphytum grandiflorum has some common insect problems:
Slugs & Snails on Ornamental Plants

Iberium Comfrey Symphytum grandiflorum

Phonetic Spelling
sim-FY-tum gran-dih-FLORE-um
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Comfrey is a perennial groundcover in the Boraginaceae (borage) family native to Europe.  Often grown in borders or shade gardens due to its dense foliage and attractive spring flowers. It spreads by creeping rhizomes and forms an attractive groundcover. The roots have underground stems that form additional roots and shoots along their length. 

It is best grown in a location providing full sun to part shade and good drainage.  A soil that is organically rich is an added boost.  This flowers have both male and female organs that are pollinated by bees.  Its seeds ripen from June through July.

Called an accumulator, this plant gathers and stores nutrients from the soil that are in a more bioavailable form.  It can then be used as a fertilizer when added to a compost pile.  Converted to a tea-like liquid can also be used for feeding other plants.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or disease issues.  Slugs and snails can be a minor problem. It spreads by rhizomes that can be aggressive. Attempting to dig plant up for transplanting or removal can leave some roots that will sprout new plants. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hidcote Blue'
    Smaller cultivar
  • 'Sky-Blue-Pink'
    Pink buds open to blue flowers that fade to white.
'Hidcote Blue', 'Sky-Blue-Pink'
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#weedy#shade garden#fast growing#spreading#deer resistant#rhizomes#herbaceous perennials#agressive#groundcover#rhizomatous#naturalizes#border planting#hairy leaves#naturalized area#border front#shade border#clay soils tolerant#rough leaves#dense growth#broadleaf#showy
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Hidcote Blue'
    Smaller cultivar
  • 'Sky-Blue-Pink'
    Pink buds open to blue flowers that fade to white.
'Hidcote Blue', 'Sky-Blue-Pink'
Tags:
#showy flowers#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#weedy#shade garden#fast growing#spreading#deer resistant#rhizomes#herbaceous perennials#agressive#groundcover#rhizomatous#naturalizes#border planting#hairy leaves#naturalized area#border front#shade border#clay soils tolerant#rough leaves#dense growth#broadleaf#showy
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Symphytum
    Species:
    grandiflorum
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Caucasus and Europe
    Wildlife Value:
    It is pollinated by bumblebees, honey bees, and mason bees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers form as red-flushed buds and bloom in drooping clusters.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Medium to dark green leaves that grow along the ground can grow up to 7" long while growing to only 2" on flowering stems. Its stiff hairs give the leaves a rough feel.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Although this plant contains small quantities of alkaloids that can cause liver damage over time, most individuals would have to consume large quantities of the plant in order for it to be harmful.  Those with chronic liver issues should be aware of this issue.  The alkaloids are at their highest in the roots and young leaves.  As the leaves age, they no longer pose a risk, as older leaves lose their toxicity.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots