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Cultivated Comfrey Symphytum officinale

Phonetic Spelling
sim-FY-tum oh-fiss-ih-NAH-lee
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

One of many species referred to as comfrey.  It has a long history of use as a medicinal herb for topical and internal injuries, though it is no longer deemed safe for ingestion.

This plant grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist, rich soil.  In NC's hot summers, it appreciates some shade.  It is deer resistant and tolerant to drought and clay soil.  As it easily spreads and resprouts from any root pieces left behind from removal, it can be grown in large containers to better control its spread.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Herb & Flower Cottage Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#container plant#purple flowers#medicinal#tuberous#cottage garden#herb garden#moist soil#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#division#coarse#rich soil#colonies#naturalizes#wildflower garden#clumping#naturalized area#clay soils tolerant#herb#meadows#woodlands#well drained soil
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#container plant#purple flowers#medicinal#tuberous#cottage garden#herb garden#moist soil#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#division#coarse#rich soil#colonies#naturalizes#wildflower garden#clumping#naturalized area#clay soils tolerant#herb#meadows#woodlands#well drained soil
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Symphytum
    Species:
    officinale
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Medicinal use for injuries
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, W. Asia
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Description:
    Bluebell-like purple flowers that grow in clusters. Blooms in late spring and early summer, May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Large, coarse leaves covered in hair. The base of the upper leaves run down the length of the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are winged.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingestion can lead to liver damage, lung damage, and cancer. Considered possibly safe to use externally.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems