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perennial

Comfrey

Symphytum offiincale

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Comfrey (Symphytum offiincale) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Symphytum offiincale flowers

Symphytum offiincale flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  18 inches

Spacing:  20 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Ornamental Features

Comfrey features delicate clusters of purple bell-shaped flowers at the ends of the stems in late spring. Its narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Comfrey is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive

Comfrey is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Groundcover

Planting & Growing

Comfrey will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 20 inches apart. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America, and parts of it are known to be toxic to humans and animals, so care should be exercised in planting it around children and pets. It can be propagated by division.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Groundcover 
Applications
Flowers 
Ornamental Features