Symphytum asperum Lepech. - Rough Comfrey.
Taxonomic position.Family Boraginaceae Juss., genus Symphytum L.
Synonyms.S. asperrimum Don.
Morphology and biology.Perennial herbaceous plant. Root system strong. stems straight, 170-185 cm tall, irregularly cylindrical, branched, well leaved. The whole plant rigidly scabrously spinous. Leaves large, long-petiolate, cordate, upper cauline leaves subsessile. Inflorescence a double cincinnus of 30-46 small flowers located in axils of leaves of upper branches of stem. Calyx almost two times shorter than corolla, its teeth very short, obtuse. Corolla funnel-shaped, with straight teeth, purple or brick-red in bud, blue when open. Fruit a nutlet, rounded-elongate, wrinkly-tuberculate, grey. Flowers in June - July, fruits in July - August. Entomophilous plant.
Distribution.Mountain areas of Caucasus.
Ecology.Among shrubberies, in meadows, forest glades, along brooks, in damp places. From lowland up to subalpine zone at 2,500 m a.s.l.
Use and economic value.High-yielding forage plant. Highly nutritive plant with low content of cellulose, making it especially valuable for pigs and poultry. Used for green forage, silage, grass meal, protein-vitamin pellets. Melliferous, ornamental, food, green manure.
References:Galushko AI. 1980. Flora of the North Caucasus: Handbook. V.2. 352 p. (In Russian).
Grossheim AA. 1967. Flora of Caucasus. 2nd ed. V.7. P.263-264. (In Russian).
Medvedev PF., Smetannikova AI. 1981. Forage plants of European part of the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 336 p. (In Russian).
Meusel H. et al. 1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der Zentraleuropaischen Flora. Jena. 583 S.