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Common or True Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)
I sell live Common Comfrey roots. Comfrey Easy Order Page
The Original Heirloom, Heritage Comfrey

True, Quaker, Cultivated or Common Comfrey (Boraginaceae family, S. officinale) is native to Europe. It likes to grow in damp, grassy locations in full or partial sun.

The bell-shaped flowers can be creamy yellow, white, red, magenta, pink or purplish (various shades). It grows to about 3 feet tall including the flowerstalk. It is smaller than Russian Comfrey.

Cold Hardy, Perennial

Comfrey is a perennial with roots that are hardy to minus 15 degrees (-15) Fahrenheit. Though I suspect it can take even colder temperatures because Russian Comfrey is documented to survive down to -40 degrees.

The leaves can withstand temperatures down to 15 degrees and still be healthy. Below that temperature the plant goes dormant. (It can survive temperatures as high as 120 degrees.)

Symphytum Officinale

From the book "Comfrey: Fodder, Food & Remedy" by Lawrence D. Hills:

"Symphytum officinale-- Its flowers are 3/4 inch long and cream-yellow. They can be purple but it can be identified by the wide wings that continue right down the flower stems from leaf to leaf, and the pointed long, narrow leaves."

This photo is buds before they open.

Seeds Can be Planted

It can be somewhat invasive from the seeds spreading. If you do not want it to spread, then cut off the flowerstalks before they go to seed. It is not very invasive by the roots.

The seeds are viable so it can be propagated by seeds or root cuttings. Russian Comfrey is a natural hybrid cross between True Comfrey and Prickly Comfrey (Symphytum asperum).

True comfrey produces biomass (freshly cut leaves) per acre that is about 1/3 that of Russian comfrey.

This drawing from Germany is Symphytum officinale.

The Original Medicinal Comfrey

True / Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has been used for thousands of years to heal.

In traditional Chinese medicine it has been a remedy for 2,000 years. It was part of the Materia Medica (body of remedial substances used in the practice of medicine) of the Middle Ages.

Dioscorides, a physician in 50 A.D., prescribed the plant to heal wounds and broken bones. It is good for skin problems.

True Comfrey in Spring

This photo is from Mike in Olney, Maryland. The root was planted in October and is shown in spring.

"Looking forward to my current two comfrey plants being used to create additional for the future." -Mike, Maryland

"I received and planted the 2 True Comfrey roots, and they are showing some new leaves already! Thank you so much!!!" -Carolyn, Austin, Texas

Young Leaves of Comfrey

"I received and planted the 2 True Comfrey roots, and they are showing some new leaves already! Thank you so much!!!" -Carolyn, Austin, Texas

Properties of Symphytum Officinale

Very rarely S. officinale may get comfrey rust (Melampsorella symphyti). People with small gardens do not usually have much of a problem with it though. Russian comfrey Bocking #14 is resistant to rust.

The Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK) ratio of True Comfrey is 1.80-0.50-5.30.

It's leaves are 1.31% calcium, 0.72% phosphorus, 3.09% potash (potassium), 0.098% iron, and 85 ppm manganese.

Comfrey Flowers

Clusters of bell-shaped comfrey flowers.

"Just wanted to tell you how well your True Comfrey root grew even though I planted it late in June. I was able to harvest the leaves twice, and a third set of leaves are in the process of maturing (late October). The weather is starting to cool down in NY, and I am sure cold night temperatures are not far off." -Steve, Garden City, New York

Many Flower Colors

True Comfrey grows with many different colors of flowers. Pollination takes place between plants with different flower colors. The seed produces a plant with a new color.

Most of the roots I sell are from plants with deep purple flowers. But you might get flowers similar to these photos.

A Valuable Plant

"I am so excited to be getting another start of comfrey. I had it years ago, but ended up giving nearly every last bit of it away, ending up with sprouts from hair-sized roots and gave THOSE away, so now I have nothing. I have been buying many herbs, including comfrey root for general health, using comfrey poultices to treat various ailments. Thank you so much for making this great plant so accessible. The value of some things cannot be measured properly by money alone. Be well, and make the days of your life treasures to be cultivated along with the comfrey we both treasure." -Wil, Kentwood, Louisiana

Common Comfrey in Minnesota

"This is the three roots you sent in April of last year (it is now September). They have adapted to Minnesota well and leaped out of the ground after the winter. They are about 4 feet tall, and my wife is muttering about comfrey eating her strawberry bed. But the bees and bumblebees are quite happy with the new addition." -Marion, Minneapolis, Minnesota

A happy bumblebee on the Minnesota comfrey.
Common or True Comfrey

$15 each for a root. Shipping is $7 no matter how many you buy. You can order other types of comfrey with no extra shipping.

Your roots will be crown cuttings with leaves trimmed off or a root cutting with a bud that is ready to grow.

Comfrey Easy Order Page

Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
No pickup at farm. I ship to the United States only.

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Farm & Garden Calendar
Comfrey Book, Volume 1     Comfrey Book, Volume 2

Site Map    Rare Heritage Dominique Chickens
Juice Plus: Powder concentrates from fruits, vegetables

General Comfrey Information     How to Grow Comfrey
3 Types of Comfrey     Improving Soil with Comfrey
Comfrey Container Gardening
Permaculture & Fruit Trees     Comfrey as Feed for Poultry
Comfrey as Feed for Livestock     Comfrey: Animals & Health
Comfrey & Healing     Comfrey Research: Symphytum
History of Russian Comfrey, part 1     Comfrey History & References

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