HIDCOTE-BLUE COMFREY

HIDCOTE COMFREY

Symphytum × hidcotense

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8white
flower
flower8blue
flower
flower8red
status
statusZalien
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZfused
type
typeZtubular
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZlowish

17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Grows to 50cm, usually found in or near gardens, as here.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Floppily upright stems flowering stems. Flowers droop mostly downwards when opened.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flowers that, when open, are pale-blue on the narrow part of the corolla and white on the wider open part (petals).


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The flowering spike is coiled up like a catherine wheel, slowly unrolling with the outermost flowers opening first, others following in their turn. Un-opened flowers are scarlet red, becoming pink/red, then mauvish. Flowers that have lost the corolla tube altogether have just a single long white stamen sticking prominently out (top).


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Un-opened flowers are scarlet red, becoming pink/red, then mauvish.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Sepal tube beetroot coloured with long and un-pointed teeth. Stems and sepals have very short stubby hairs. Five mostly fusedpetals apart from at the periphery where there is a small nick.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves mostly have stems.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaf stems not or hardly running down the side of the main stem they come from (decurrent), a characteristic of many, but not all Comfreys.


17th April 2009, Helsington Church, Kendal, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves have net veins. Older leaves slightly larger and slightly heart-shaped joining the stem at a hyper-abrupt 100 - 120° angle, younger ones, as here, joining the stem at an abrupt angle of about 70° - 90°. Never joins the stem at a slow taper.


Not to be semantically confused with : Symphoricarpos [the Genus for Snowberrys which has a similar name]

Is the Hybrid between : Creeping Comfrey (Symphytum grandiflorum) and possibly Russian Comfrey (Symphytum × uplandicum) [which is itself a hybrid between Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) and Rough Comfrey (Symphytum asperum)]

Many similarities to : Hidcote Pink but there the (open) flowers are pink where they are pale-blue in Hidcote Blue.

Easily mistaken for : Creeping Comfrey (Symphytum grandiflorum) but the (open) flower is pale yellow where they are pale-blue in Hidcote Blue.

You are most likely to come across this plant either in gardens, or nearby just outside where it has just escaped. A popular garden flower. Other cultivars exist.


  Symphytum × hidcotense  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Boraginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Borage family8Boraginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Symphytum
Symphytum
(Comfreys)

HIDCOTE-BLUE COMFREY

HIDCOTE COMFREY

Symphytum × hidcotense

Borage Family [Boraginaceae]