Both have medicinal uses but carry a risk of liver problems when used incorrectly. It may be full of minerals but it is not pleasant eating for most tastes. The peeled roots are cut up and added to soups. This has a very limited range of application, but is of great benefit in the treatment of broken bones and eye injuries. SOLVED: Comfrey or Virginia Bluebells? After those leaves are established, it then grows the central flower … The lookalike to be most concerned about is Foxglove Digitalis purpurea. Comfrey is one of the best plants to have in the garden. When number of flowers per floral unit, flower abundance, and phenology were taken into account it was the only member of the top 10 list for that measurement that also placed in the top 10 list for most nectar per unit cover per year. Prickly Comfrey, Symphytum asperum. The plant was rated in fourth place for per day nectar production per flower in a UK plants survey conducted by the AgriLand project which is supported by the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. The calyx segments are distinctly lance-shaped (long and narrow). Do not combine with herbs containing pyrrolizidine alkaloids (e.g. The short calyx lobes have pointed tips. It begins growing its oval leaves in a basal rosette during spring. Comfrey leaves can be used as a mulch around plants to break down and act as a slow-release source of plant nutrients. Its Latin name, Symphytum, comes from Greek words meaning “growing together of bones” and “plant’”.Besides being used to mend broken bones it’s also used for healing wounds and lung ailments, stopping heavy … I took some pictures but they won't … Both are dried for later use. The plant most commonly referred to and used in gardens is Russian comfrey - Symphytum x uplandicum, a naturally occurring hybrid of two wild species: common comfrey - Symphytum officinale and prickly comfrey … Hi, I’m a little confused about my ‘Comfrey’ plant. The ½-inch-long rose to bluish flowers are usually larger than those of common comfrey, and their lobes are erect. In general, the health-promoting properties of the plant probably far outweigh any possible disbenefits, especially if only the younger leaves are used. It can be chopped up finely and added to salads, in this way the hairiness is not so obvious. The leaf blades do not hug the stem. wild comfrey. Young leaves – cooked or raw. Comfrey is rated as a highly effective plant for attracting bees as it has a long flowering period and is suitable for long and short-tongued species. purple flowers the bees adore. Symphytum is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. Prickly comfrey (S. asperum) does not have winged stems, and the upper leaves are on very short stalks. In early spring, the young leaves of both plants look very similar, however, there are key features to help with identification: Comfrey – Comfrey leaves have smooth, uninterrupted edges, and sparse, but bristly hairs. Its leaves are full of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - all nutrients needed by growing plants. Foxglove – Young leaves have a softly serrated edge, and many soft hairs; So much that they feel velvety. agrimony, alpine ragwort, help, tansy ragwort). Unfortunately, comfrey bears a stigma. 18% also grow it as an ornamental – there are many different varieties available with different flower colours and variegated forms. Stems erect, widely winged. Flowering stalks have leaves attached in an alternating pattern up the stem. Russian, Common and Prickly Comfrey, learning how to know them when you see them. The stems and leaves are covered with stout, flattened, recurved prickles. Symphytum officinale is a perennial flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae.Along with thirty four other species of Symphytum, it is known as comfrey.To differentiate it from other members of the genus Symphytum, this species is known as common comfrey or true comfrey. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial herb in the Borage family native to Europe and now found growing wild throughout America. It is tolerant of being cut several times a year and can be used to provide ‘instant compost’ for crops such as potatoes. Comfrey is the organic gardener's best friend. Comfrey flowers are above all much loved by bees: an almost failsafe way of bringing the buzz of honeybees to one’s garden is to plant comfrey there. The leaves are also a very valuable addition to the compost heap. Watch Reply. Hi there, I would like to make some comfrey fertiliser but I'm having a problem identifying what is comfrey and what isn't. Here is that same patch of comfrey… Although it is considered by many to be a weed. I’s leaves look the same as the ones in your photo’s but I planted it, thinking it was a small shrub and it is now about 3 metres high. Wikimedia commons. External applications and internally taken teas or tinctures of the leaves are considered to be completely safe, but internal applications of tablets or capsules are felt to have too many drawbacks for safe usage.