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Uses

Toxic parts

No reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, but the following reports have been seen for S. officinale. This plant contains small quantities of a toxic alkaloid which can have a cumulative effect upon the liver. Largest concentrations are found in the roots, leaves contain higher quantities of the alkaloid as they grow older and young leaves contain almost none. Most people would have to consume very large quantities of the plant in order to do any harm, though anyone with liver problems should obviously be more cautious. In general, the health-promoting properties of the plant probably far outweigh any possible disbenefits, especially if only the younger leaves are used.

Edible uses

Notes

The following reports are for S. officinale, they are said to also apply to this species[1].

Young leaves - cooked or raw[2][3][4][5][6][7]. The leaf is hairy and the texture is mucilaginous. It may be full of minerals but it is not pleasant eating for most tastes. It can be chopped up finely and added to salads, in this way the hairiness is not so obvious[8]. Young shoots can be used as an asparagus substitute[6]. The blanched stalks are used[8]. Older leaves can be dried and used as a tea[9]. The peeled roots are cut up and added to soups[8]. A tea is made from the dried leaves and roots[8].

The roasted roots are used with dandelion and chicory roots for making coffee[8].

Leaves

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

The following reports are for S. officinale, they are said to also apply to this species[1].

The plant grows very quickly, producing a lot of bulk. It is tolerant of being cut several times a year and can be used to provide 'instant compost' for crops such as potatoes. Simply layer the wilted leaves at the bottom of the potato trench or apply them as a mulch in no-dig gardens. A liquid feed can be obtained by soaking the leaves in a small amount of water for a week, excellent for potassium demanding crops such as tomatoes. The leaves are also a very valuable addition to the compost heap[9][1].

A gum obtained from the roots was at one time used in the treatment of wool before it was spun[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The leaves are anodyne, mildly astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, haemostatic, refrigerant and vulnerary. They are used as an external poultice in the treatment of cuts, bruises and sprains. Internally, they are used as a tea in the treatment of chest complaints. The plant contains a substance called 'allantoin', a cell proliferant that speeds up the healing process[3][11][9][12]. The leaves are harvested in the summer and can be used fresh or dried.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

If you have sufficient seed you can try an outdoor sowing in situ in the spring.

Division succeeds at almost any time of the year. Simply use a spade to chop off the top 7cm of root just below the soil level. The original root will regrow and you will have a number of root tops, each of which will make a new plant. These can either be potted up or planted out straight into their permanent positions.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Symphytum asperum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Tolerates most soils and situations but prefers a moist soil and some shade[13][3]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Best grown in an open sunny site in a deep rich soil if it is being grown for compost material[1]. Plants can be invasive, often spreading freely by means of self-sown seed. They are also very difficult to remove, the root system is very deep and even small fragments of root left in the soil can produce new plants.

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Symphytum asperum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Symphytum asperum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Symphytum asperum
Genus
Symphytum
Family
Boraginaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.51.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Hills. L. Comfrey Report. Henry Doubleday Research Ass. ()
    10. ? 10.010.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    13. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    14. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

    "image:Symphytum asperum bloemen.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Symphytum asperum"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyBoraginaceae +
    Belongs to genusSymphytum +
    Has binomial nameSymphytum asperum +
    Has common namePrickly Comfrey +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partLeaves + and Unknown part +
    Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeBees +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateVigorous +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imageSymphytum asperum bloemen.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useBiomass +, Compost + and Gum +
    Has mature height1.5 +
    Has mature width0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Astringent +, Demulcent +, Emollient +, Expectorant +, Haemostatic +, Refrigerant + and Vulnerary +
    Has primary imageSymphytum asperum bloemen.jpg +
    Has search namesymphytum asperum + and prickly comfrey +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameSymphytum asperum +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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