Common name: Comfrey
Scientific name: Symphytum officinale
Uses: Ornamental, cosmetic, dye.Use for drying. Use for dye (green). For soft, smooth skin, add comfrey to creams and lotions or add some to bath water.
History: Also known as Knitbone or Slippery Root, Comfrey is native to Europe and Asia. Used medicinally since 400 BC.. In Greece it was used as a healing herb to stop heavy bleeding and to treat bronchial problems.
Description: Flowers are 1/2 inch long and are borne on short, one-side curved racemes. The tubular corolla has five lobes, a five lobed calyx, and five stamens. The leaves are entire, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, fused to stem at bases, deep green, hairy and reach up to 10 inches in length.
Plant type: Perennial
Hardiness: Hardiness zone 3-9.
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: typically 2-2 1/2 feet
Soil: rich, moist, alkaline soil with a pH of 6.7-7.3
Pests: Japanese beetles
Cultivation: Sow seed in fall or early spring directly in garden. Divisions may be taken and planted in the fall and cuttings may be taken anytime. Space plants 3' apart. Once started, comfrey is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance.
Propagation: Seed, division, cuttings.
Flowering period: May-frost