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Comfrey, Russian (Symphytum x uplandicum) potted plant, organic

$7.50$50.00

Family:  Borage (Boraginacea)

Hardy in Zones 4 to 8

Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum).  Sterile hybrid does not make seeds.  Nice potted plants make for an easy transplant. Commonly used in permaculture as a companion plant to fruit trees.  In the nursery, we have great results making the fresh leaves into biodynamic tea, which we apply to our plants in a pot to increase vitality, growth, and to green up all those leaves.  Excellent ingredient for compost piles–fresh leaves compost fast and make a nitrogen-rich compost.  Organic, farm-derived, vegetarian and free of cost.  As an animal feed, 26% protein in leaves, rub fresh leaves first to increase likelihood that goats, pigs, etc. will eat it.  We have used the fresh leaves to cure scours in goats and rabbits.  Traditional usage (TWM): used externally, safely and effectively, to speed healing of any and all lesions of the skin. Source of allantoin. The effects are:  cell proliferation, emollient, discutient.   Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, do not take internally during pregnancy or if suffering from liver disease.  Space plants 2 to 3 feet apart.

Potted plant, certified organically grown

 

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  1. Question

    Andrew Green

    What is the preferred method for making comfrey tea? I have frequently added it to compost but would like to try it in tea form for plant health as well.
    Thanks as always for all the excellent advice, seeds and plants. You provide such an important resource and are much appreciated!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi andrew, my pleasure, thanks for writing. you know, usda recently removed KELP from the approved list of amendments, which makes comfrey all the more important in this context. making comfrey leaf sun tea is cheap, easy and super effective. fill a bucket or barrel with fresh leaves, add water to the brim and allow to soak in the sun. stir daily. at first it will be hard to stir and after a few days as the leaves break down stirring will get easier. after the leaves literally melt back into the tea, after a week or so, pour off through a filter. drape cheesecloth over a tripod and set up a bucket to collect the filtered tea. dilute with plenty of pure water before using it to water in transplants, nursery stock, row crops, soak cuttings, stimulate seeds, etc. r

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  2. Question

    Kathy

    Since the Russian variety does not produce seeds, can it be reproduced by divisions or would I be better off to use the other variety?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello kathy, yes, the russian comfrey can be reproduced by means of root (crown) cutting. These are very dependable. richo

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  3. Question

    Jaclyn

    Does Russian comfrey produce flowers? Thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi jaclyn, it does, and they’re pretty nice, bell-shaped, lavender, generous. richo

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  4. Question

    Scott

    I understand Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is commonly used in permaculture as a companion plant to fruit trees, whereas (True Comfrey) (Symphytum officinalis) is used for animal feed and external applications. Is there a comfrey that can be used internally by humans? If so which one? Can the Russian variety be used medicinally when applied externally or is it medicinal at all?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Scott, Thanks for your considered questions. There is a ton of anti-comfrey propaganda out there which goes completely counter to the ages-proven truth that this is a safe and effective remedial. In short, either type (russian or true) comfrey may be applied externally with good healing effect and without fear about pyrrolizidine alkaloids. It is not a good idea to eat a lot of comfrey or make strong tea and drink it every day. It is, after all, a first aid plant, so it is not normally used like a daily tonic. True comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is lower in total alkaloid content including echimidine, so in answer to your question, if comfrey is to be taken internally for a course of treatment, I recommend the true. Don’t use it if you’re pregnant or suffering from liver disease. Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is a faster grower and is commonly used for fodder, sun tea for fertilizing plants, compost making and as a companion plant in the orchard. r

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  5. Question

    Joyce (verified owner)

    Is comfrey good for pest control in organic gardening? I have heard be invasive so which variety to avoid it taking over my garden?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Joyce, Comfrey isn’t well known for insect pest control. Nothing much bothers it, if that’s what you mean. Comfrey is most useful in organic orchards to limit certain diseases that affect fruit trees, also to nourish them, and when used in horticulture (like for making comfrey tea) it exerts a gentle stimulation to plants as the proteins break down into nitrogen which plants need for healthy growth. As a medicinal herb, unparalleled, really, due to the presence of healing allantoin. Most people use it externally only, due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which make the herb be not as choice for internal use. As for invasiveness, the main invasive species is Homo sapiens and sometimes the not so sapient homos do find them spreading throughout the garden. Smart gardeners create a comfrey patch and leave it alone without disturbing it (like rototilling through it, a sure way to spread it around!) and then the plants stay put and really create quite a show around midspring with the bees drinking nectar from the flowers and so forth. Since true comfrey makes seeds that can spread and russian comfrey does not, then if you’re concerned about the spread of the plant, get the russian comfrey. That was where this comment occurred. Richo

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  6. Rita McCartt-Kordon

    Rita McCartt-Kordon

    Hello in Oregon!
    I have really enjoyed my Comfrey plants. So have my Honeybees! I’m a little late on this review, because it has been a while since I ordered them! Nonetheless, I’m very well pleased with them! Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Thanks, no prob, our # 1 choice medicinal herb, none more universally useful and effective!

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    • betsy hausman

      I live in south Florida, how would the plant thrive down here?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      I have heard that comfrey “melts” in S. Florida so would put it to a cooler spot if you can find one. However,
      I personally have never seen comfrey “melt” and we do get 110 degree days throughout August. I like all weather, looking forward to it, long-live comfrey!

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    • Girlay

      Does this plants thrive in zone 9b I live in central SW Florida

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi, I have heard that Comfrey “melts” in FL and that’s why I’ve put the maximum temp at Zone 8. As an almost unstoppable grower, though, I assume you could keep one in the shade. It will grow anywhere from sand to swamp. richo

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    • Katherine Rhodes

      I live in Zone 7 but in a microclimate of temps and weather comparable to zone 6. I am ordering now (January) so that the Russian Comfrey is availabe. Our zone can get frost up until mid May. Should I plant the ordered comphrey plants in a containers and wait to plant inground until after the frost date?

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    • 4 out of 4 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Katherine, The Russian Comfrey is among the most forgiving of all plants and will grow well for you. One of the advantages of getting the potted plants is that they are already aerial so just make the transplant as usual. Our plants are kept in outdoors environment so they are frost hardy. I suggest ordering now and using the “order comments” field at checkout to request April shipment, and transplant upon receipt. That should be about right. Richo

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    • Katherine Rhodes (verified owner)

      Thanks Richo. Plants are ordered as well as 3 of your book. My daughter has bought the 4th for me as a birthday gift.

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