This is one of those plants I’d regularly walked past without stopping to admire before I started taking photographs, and before I started taking an interest in the wonderfully fascinating detail of plants.
As an organic gardener, I had heard about the benefits of using Comfrey as an organic fertiliser but had never used it. This species is Symphytum officinale – a herbaceous perennial from the Boraginaceae family – which is growing quite profusely around paths and field edges in the area. As can be seen, it is extremely hairy! The flowers range from white to pink to purple.
I disovered from allotment.org.uk (a useful website with lots of interesting info) that the Russian variety: Symphytum x uplandicum, also known as ‘Bocking 14’ is the type recommended for organic gardeners to grow as fertiliser as it is sterile and won’t grow as rampantly in the garden. It is said to be rich in the NPK nutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash and is particularly beneficial to potato and tomato plants. The plants do need a fairly damp area to grow in – the garden here is simply too dry.