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Native alternative(s) for Symphytum officinale:
Echinacea purpurea Flowers (Wake County, NC)
Phlox stolonifera Phlox stolonifera
Verbena canadensis Verbena canadensis
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Campanula carpatica Flowers
Phlox maculata Form in native habitat
Viola pedata Viola pedata
Symphytum officinale has some common insect problems:
Slugs & Snails on Ornamental Plants

Slippery-Root Symphytum officinale

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

Referring to the belief that comfrey helped to heal injuries, the scientific name Symphytum comes from the Greek words symphyo or grow together and phyton for plant.  Together translating to a plant that heals injuries.  It has a long history of use as a medicinal herb for topical and internal injuries, though it is no longer deemed as safe for consumption.  It is said that the leaves and roots can be used to treat rashes, swelling, cuts and bruises.

One of the many plants called comfrey, this variety grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist, rich soil.  In NC's hot summers, it appreciates some shade from the afternoon sun. 

It is deer resistant and tolerant to drought and clay soil. 

Its foliage is a good addition to a compost pile.  It can be pruned several times a year and is often used as compost for food crops. A liquid fertilizer can be obtained by soaking the leaves in water for at least one week.  The potassium from this plant is great for growing tomatoes.  

As it easily spreads and will sprout from any root pieces left behind from removal, it can be grown in large containers to better control its spread. Its rapid spreading habit does make it a remarkable candidate for establishing an attractive colony.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect or diseases issues.  Snails and slugs may damage the foliage.  Heavy rains can cause the leaves to droop.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Herb & Flower Cottage Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#easy to grow#purple flowers#weedy#medicinal#tuberous#cottage garden#moist soil#well-drained soil#rich soils#dye plant#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#division#coarse#groundcover#colonies#naturalizes#wildflower garden#clumping#naturalized area#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#meadows#woodland garden#container plant#green dye plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#easy to grow#purple flowers#weedy#medicinal#tuberous#cottage garden#moist soil#well-drained soil#rich soils#dye plant#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#division#coarse#groundcover#colonies#naturalizes#wildflower garden#clumping#naturalized area#clay soils tolerant#partial shade tolerant#meadows#woodland garden#container plant#green dye plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Symphytum
    Species:
    officinale
    Family:
    Boraginaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Medicinal use for injuries. The leaves can be used to make an olvie green dye.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, W. Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant is pollinated by bees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    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 pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    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 Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Bluebell-like purple flowers that grow in drooping clusters. Blooms in late spring and early summer, May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    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:
    The 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
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • 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