Belongs to: borage family

Common comfrey Symhytum officinale

Also known as: knitbone

Best time to see: May to late Jun

Key facts

A tall hairy perennial with clusters of bell-like flowers, usually mauve, sometimes creamy white

Grows beside rivers and ponds and in marshy meadows

Used in herbal medicine as a poultice to treat wounds and broken bones


Long narrow pointed leaves; flowers May to June, followed by black shiny fruit

Russian comfrey, a hybrid between this and rough comfrey, has bluer flowers and is widespread in scrubby places

  • Main photo

Photo © Owen Keen