Symphytum tuberosum   Tuberous Comfrey C DD N

Symphytum tuberosum whole Symphytum tuberosum

One of the features of Comfreys is very annoying for the photographer. The individual flowers begin to show brown patches before the flower is even properly out so it is quite hard to find a bunch of flowers looking really good. This is particularly true of the white, cream and yellow flowered Symphytum species.

This was one of the first unusual plants I found on my own after I had joined the Wild Flower Society. I dutifully submitted the annual diary and when it was returned the entry was annotated "Very interesting if confirmed". I learned later that this was code for. "You've probably made an identification error". Some years later I took an expert to that same site where the Comfrey still grew. He confirmed it as Tuberous Comfrey. Ha!

Later on a journey through the Borders in Scotland where Stace seems to think it is native, I seemed to see it on every other verge in large numbers too.

Symphytum tuberosum is dotted about in England and Wales without being common anywhere except perhaps on Anglesey. In Scotland though it is supposed to be native and it is a common plant in and around the lowland industrial belt, in the border country and the hinterland of Aberdeen. It is found in smaller quantities on the outer islands including Shetland. It is dotted here and there in Ireland.

Llanduylas coast by stream, 7th May 2007

Added on November 28th 2004, updated 12th February 2012

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