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Herbaceous Perennial

Symphytum officinale blue-flowered
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

blue-flowered comfrey

Vigorous perennial about 1.5m tall, forming a clump of erect stems bearing coarse, hairy dark green leaves to 25cm in length, with winged stalks, and clusters of tubular blue flowers 2cm in length in late spring and summer

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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing or North–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Boraginaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten repeatedly. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling Pets (rabbits, rodents): Harmful if eaten repeatedly - for further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Symphytum are rhizomatous herbaceous perennials, sometimes invasive, with large leaves and nodding clusters of tubular flowers

Name status

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moderately fertile, moist soil in sun or partial shade. Be aware the plant growth can be vigorous once established and has the potential to become a nuisance, so may require appropriate management. Can be grown for use as a plant fertiliser

Propagation

Propagate by division of fleshy roots in spring or from root cuttings in early winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Cottage and informal garden
Pruning

Can be cut back after flowering to encourage neat, young foliage

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

Get involved

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