Symphytum caucasicum M.B. - Caucasian Comfrey.

Taxonomic position.

Family Boraginaceae Juss., genus Symphytum L.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial herbaceous plant with a taproot, turning into thickened capitate rootstock with age. Stems 40-70 cm tall (sometimes up to 150 cm), poorly branched, thick, irregularly cylindrical. Pubescence soft-hairy. Leaves large, weakly crinkled, light green, semicordate, weakly pubescent. Lower leaves oblong or ovate-lanceolate, narrowed into long petiole, upper ones narrow-lanceolate, decurrent. Inflorescence a double cincinnus, short (5-6 cm long), 20-22-flowered. Calyx incised at 1/3, 3 times shorter than corolla, with unequal obtusate lobes. Flowers small. Corolla red in bud, light blue when open. Fruits oblique nutlets, rounded-elongate, slightly wrinkled, grey, dull. Flowers in July, fruits in August. Cross-pollinated entomophilous plant. 2n=16.




In shrubberies, glades, damp forest fringes, near ravines, at watersides. Winter-hardy, but fastidious to moisture.

Use and economic value.

Forage plant. High-yielding silage crop, also used for producing highly nutritive grass meal. Fresh is eaten well by pigs, goats, sheep, when chopped - by poultry. Melliferous, ornamental.


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.

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