Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 24-30 inches
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: K (Potassium)
Ca (Calcium)
Mg (Magnesium)
Fe (Iron)
Si (Silicon)
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Root
Division
Pollinators: Bees

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The Wonderful ComfreyThe Wonderful Comfrey
March 24, 2015

Comfrey is incredible. It's a soil builder, a fertilizer, a compost enhancer, has medicinal properties, is a good feed source for animals, and much more. Let's talk about this chief of plants.

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Posted by gardengus (Indiana Zone 5b) on Nov 5, 2015 5:55 PM

One of the most useful plants in my garden that I do not grow to eat. I use this to:
feed to my goats;
for compost tea to fertilize my plants;
as a mulch because the large leaves smother small weeds;
and to add nutrients to compost and soil.

The flowers also attract a large number of bees.

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Posted by Sharon (Calvert City, KY - Zone 7a) on Nov 15, 2011 11:56 PM

Comfrey is one of those ancient medicinal plants that is still used externally. It was introduced into North America by settlers, and now grows wild in the eastern part of the continent. It is also widely cultivated by herbalists.

It grows in wet places; it's usually about 3 feet high with oval dark green leaves on an erect hairy stem that branches at the top. The lower leaves are generally much longer than those at the top of the stem. It has purplish bell shaped flowers that bloom in clusters in summer.

It was used in ancient times for a number of problems, but contemporary usage by herbalists includes surface treatment for psoriasis and other skin problems by way of ointments made from the plant.

Comfrey leaves are in large part protein and are used often for fodder for livestock.

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Posted by sallyg (central Maryland) on Dec 14, 2018 3:57 AM

Comfrey grows quite well in my zone 7 average garden soil and full sun; it can take some shade. Leaves are large, oval and fuzzy, growing in a mound. Flower stalks grow up but then may lay over, it isn't a stiff plant. The roots are black.

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