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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

When roasted until brown and brittle, and then finely ground, the root is used as a coffee substitute. It has a smoothness that is not found in real coffee[1].

Unknown part

Material uses

A good, and sometimes rampant, ground cover plant for a shady border or woodland.
There are no material uses listed for Symphytum tuberosum.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Symphytum tuberosum.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover

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 tuberosum. 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. Grows well in heavy clay soils.

Hardy to about -20°c[2]. Plants form extensive patches, spreading by means of a creeping tuberous rhizome[2].

Plants are dormant in summer[2].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Symphytum tuberosum. 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 tuberosum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Symphytum tuberosum
Genus
Symphytum
Family
Boraginaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
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
    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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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.2 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    3. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

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