Comfrey, Bocking14

Symphytum Uplandicum  “Bocking 14”

USDA Hardiness zone 4-8

 

The ultimate permaculture plant, comfrey has many uses in the homestead.  It is used medicinally in the healing of broken bones and sprains and has held the common name 'knitbone' throughout the ages. 

 

It is used as fodder for livestock due to its high nutrient density.  Chickens are especially fond of fresh comfrey.  Rabbits tend to prefer comfrey wilted.

It is used as a  fertilizer and compost booster.  Comfrey sets a very deep taproot and accesses nutrients out of the reach of most plants.  When cut for compost it releases those nutrients back near the surface making them available to other plants.  Comfrey can also be fermented into a liquid that is a very potent fertilizer.  

Comfrey is closely related to Borage and has similar blooms.  So it should be no surprise that honeybees will gravitate to them for nectar and pollen.   'Bocking 14' doesn't bear fertile seed and will not spread through seeding.  It will grow new plants from even the smallest root cuttings however.  With this in mind, do not plant in an area where the soil will be tilled unless you intend to grow a thick stand of comfrey.

Grab your floppy hat and plant something!