Comfrey, True (Symphytum officinale var patens), packet of 20 seeds, organic

$3.95 $2.95

Family:  Borage (Boraginaceae)

Hardy to Zones 3 to 9

(True Comfrey) (Symphytum officinalis)  Herbaceous perennial native to Europe. There is a white/cream flowered type and a purple flowered type.  This is the purple flowered type.  The plant grows true from seed. Traditional usage (TWM): Cell proliferation, cuts, scrapes, deep injuries. Source of allantoin, mucopolysaccharides and also potentially toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.  Often recommended for external use only. Commonly employed as a companion plant to orchard trees and as an ingredient in compost tea and compost piles. High in protein, the leaves make a good feed for chickens and pigs, may be added to the feed of all domestic animals, helping maintain good health and weight gain.  Comfrey prefers a full to part sun position with rich, moist, but well-drained soil.  Sow the seed just under the surface and tamp in securely.  Sown directly in warm soils, germination usually occurs within 30 days. A 30 day period of cold, moist refrigeration followed by planting in warm conditions will speed germination appreciably.  Grow the seedlings out in pots for about 3 months, then transplant to the garden.  You can also direct-seed into a fertile bed in the spring, as soon as the soil can be worked.  If you don’t want the plants to spread, then cut them back when they make flowers, and mulch the crowns with the leaves.  This will keep the seed from maturing and dropping, and will quickly improve the soil and contribute to the formation of large, healthy and happy plants.

20 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown

 

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  1. Richo Cech

    Sir, As requested I’m submitting a germination report for the comfrey seed that I purchased and the extra that you so generously gave me.
    To begin with, I’m sixty years old and have been gardening seriously for about forty years now. While nowhere near an expert at least I’m nowhere near a beginner either. Decided to start the seeds in pots rather than plant them in place in the garden which turned out to be a good thing what with the crazy weather this year. Probably my worst garden ever. I imagine I’ll get hungry this winter. I still have not been able to build a greenhouse which I so desperately want but hope springs eternal and I hope to have one while I’m still agile enough to use it. The report is a little flawed because, for some reason, I forgot to mark the quantity of seeds in batch 5493. It was either eight or nine seeds and for the life of me I can’t remember which. The packages with batch number 4955 on the label each had ten seeds as stated. I used a mix of clay and plastic pots with new potting soil purchased for the test. Pots were placed in trays on my porch as I had nowhere else to put them. Both lot numbers performed similarly, no major difference between them. I must say that at one point I almost gave up and chucked the pots as the quickest seed to germinate took twenty-one days and the slowest took thirty days. I am puzzled by the lengthy germination time I encountered. I can see how someone that was more of a novice than me might give up on the seeds if they hadn’t seen any sign of germination after three or four weeks. I was beginning to wonder myself, but had no other use for the pots or the space so left them alone.
     
    As to the final germination results. I haven’t been in school for many, many years and math was never my forte, so I hope you will forgive me for not giving you percentages of germination. Lot number 4955. Twenty seeds planted. Seventeen seedlings obtained. Lot number 5493 marked summer 09. Eight or nine? seeds planted. Seven seedlings obtained. JC Mid-North Indiana Zone 5

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  2. Monique

    Question

    Hi- I keep reading on the web and in books that comfrey is great to feed to livestock yet not safe for humans due to the potentially toxic PAs. How can it be safe for animals ? Wondering if you knew the answer-,thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      The question is perceptive. The answer is 2-part: 1) the liver toxic potential of comfrey in humans is overblown, but since the powers that be are so adamant about it, most herbalists recommend using the herb internally for short periods only or externally only in humans. 2) animals are much better at metabolizing plant toxins than are humans. There are indeed examples of overt toxicity from plants that affect herbivores and ruminants, even chickens, but for the most part the quadrupeds and birds eat all kinds of stuff humans cannot. The proof is in the pudding–many farmers have been giving comfrey as a feed supplement to stock for years with only positive results–you can grow the stuff yourself and it has 20% protein, which is high, and the cost is–low. We always gave it to our goats when they were sickly and off their feed and it generally set them right. One thing–a lot of stock won’t eat it until you rub the leaves. richo

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