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Symphytum grandiflorum - A.DC.

Common Name Ground Cover Comfrey, Comfrey
Family Boraginaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards No reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, but the following reports have been seen for S. officinale. This plant contains small quantities of a toxic alkaloid which can have a cumulative effect upon the liver. Largest concentrations are found in the roots, leaves contain higher quantities of the alkaloid as they grow older and young leaves contain almost none. Most people would have to consume very large quantities of the plant in order to do any harm, though anyone with liver problems should obviously be more cautious. In general, the health-promoting properties of the plant probably far outweigh any possible disbenefits, especially if only the younger leaves are used.
Habitats Not infrequently naturalized in hedges and woods in S. England and the Midlands[17].
Range Europe - the Caucasus. Naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Symphytum grandiflorum Ground Cover Comfrey, Comfrey


http://www.flickr.com/photos/33037982@N04
Symphytum grandiflorum Ground Cover Comfrey, Comfrey
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33037982@N04

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling, Spreading or horizontal.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Symphytum grandiflorum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.6 m (2ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Ground Cover; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

None known

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None known

References

Now available: PLANTS FOR YOUR FOOD FOREST: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens.

An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

A very good ground cover plant[188, 208]. It spreads rapidly to form a good carpet, rooting as it spreads, and should be spaced about 60cm apart each way[208]. A dynamic accumulator gathering minerals or nutrients from the soil and storing them in a more bioavailable form - used as fertilizer or to improve mulch. Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Specimen, Woodland Forest Garden. Shelter for insects, nectary, Green mulch. Notable Products: Sheep and chicken food.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Dynamic accumulator  Food Forest  Ground cover

References

Cultivation details

Tolerates most soils and situations but prefers a moist soil and some shade[1, 4]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Grows well under trees[208]. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[200]. Plants can be invasive, often spreading freely by means of self-sown seed[200]. The root system is very deep and difficult to eradicate, even small fragments of root left in the soil can produce new plants. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 9 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30°C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is a clumper with limited spread [1-2]. The root pattern is rhizomatous with underground stems sending roots and shoots along their length [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. If you have sufficient seed you can try an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring. Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Simply use a spade to chop off the top 7cm of root just below the soil level. The original root will regrow and you will have a number of root tops, each of which will make a new plant. These can either be potted up or planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Symphytum asperumPrickly ComfreyPerennial1.5 4-8 FLMHSNM320
Symphytum officinaleComfrey, Common comfreyPerennial1.2 3-10 FLMHSNM354
Symphytum orientaleWhite comfreyPerennial0.8 3-9 FLMHSNM003
Symphytum tuberosumTuberous comfreyPerennial0.6 4-8 FLMHSNM20 
Symphytum uplandicumComfreyPerennial1.2 4-8 FLMHSNM354

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

A.DC.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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