Common name: Comfrey
Symphytum officinale subsp. officinale L. APNI*
Description: Multi-stemmed herb, 0.5–1.5 m high; hairs stiff, retrorse to spreading.
Leaves mostly cauline on mature plants; lower leaves long petiolate (to 12 cm long), ovate to lanceolate, 70–150 long, 35–60 mm wide, apex acuminate; upper leaves smaller, shortly petiolate to almost sessile with lamina tending to be decurrent.
Flowers pedicellate, violet to purple. Calyx divided almost to base; lobes narrow-triangular, 3–4 mm long. Corolla 10–13 mm long, 4–8 mm wide; throat appendages c. 4 mm long, included or the tips barely exserted. Anthers 3–3.5 mm, on short filaments, narrowing to the apex. Ovary usually sterile, occasionally only 1 mericarp developing; style long-exserted, stigma capitate.
Mericarps black, ovoid, 3–4 mm, smooth and shiny.
Flowering: November to January.
Distribution and occurrence: sparingly nauralised.
Grows in disturbed areas and pasture.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CT, *ST
Other Australian states: *Vic.
Plant contains potentially carcinogenic compounds.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept: Flora Europaea
|The single subspecies in NSW. Characters and distribution as for the species in NSW.|
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.