|Scientific Name||Symphytum officinale L.|
|Common Names||English: Common comfrey; German: Echter Beinwell, Gemeiner Beinwell; French: Consoude; Spanish: Consuelda|
|Description||Robust, taprooted perennial 30-120 cm (11.81 - 47.24 inch) tall, often with several clustered stems. Stem and flower cluster with spreading or bent back, stiff hairs.|
Leaves covered by stiff hairs, lanceolate.
Cotyledons elliptic or ovate, rounded tip, more or less stalked. Leaves entire, elliptic or ovate, regularly dentate.
Elliptic or ovate, rounded tip, more or less stalked.
50-100 cm (19.68 - 39.37 inch), simple to branched, sharp-bristly.
Large, the basal ones stalked, with ovate or lance-ovate blade mostly 15-30 cm (5.9 - 11.81 inch) long and 7-12 cm (2.75 - 4.7 inch) wide. Stem leaves alternate, gradually reduced and with shorter stalks but still ample, the upper commonly stalkless. Stem evidently winged by the conspicuously downward-extended bases of the leaves.
Ochroleucous, purple or dull blue, nodding, few to several in dense, isolated clusters at the end of side and top branches, the clusters based by a leaf pair.
Calyx 5-7 mm (0.19 - 0.27 inch) long, cleft to below the middle, the lobes lanceolate, pointed, long-hairy.
Corolla about 15 mm (0.59 inch) long, narrowly bell-shaped, the tube about as long as and sometimes almost as wide as the limb. Corolla typically red to purple, sometimes blue, pale yellow, or cream-colored.
Nutlets, brownish-black, slightly wrinkled, about 4 mm (0.16 inch) long.
Germination in spring.
Viability Of Seeds
By seeds and root division.
Damp, often shady localities, in meadows, woods etc., especially near streams and rivers.
Rich soils containing lime and moist, shady sites.
Additional Crop Information
S. officinale is highly adaptable and has become a naturalized weed in ditches, meadows, abandoned gardens, and waste places. Seed germinates rapidly, especially on wet, peaty or loam soils, and in water. Root and leaf extract are made to treat fractures of bones, wounds and contusions. However, the plant should not be eaten.
Integrated Crop Management
Although fragmented roots can generate new plants, repeated cultivation can eliminate weedy populations, especially when timed to prevent seed production. Mowing before seed can help control weedy populations.
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