Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a herbaceous perennial herb originating in Europe. It has large, hairy leaves and grows in a rosette to 1m in height. The mauve flowers are bell-like and borne in clusters. Comfrey is very easy to grow and prefers moist soil in full sun or partial shade.
Comfrey probably has the widest range of uses in a permaculture system of any plant. The leaves contain silica, nitrogen, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Comfrey leaves, measured as dry matter, are about 15 to 30% protein which is as high as most legumes.
Use the green leaves as a mulch.
Liquid fertiliser - place handfuls of fresh leaves in a container, cover with boiling water and let soak for 2 weeks. Strain and apply direct to your plants.
Add the leaves to your compost to aid in the break down of organic matter.
Comfrey roots will aid in breaking up of compacted soils.
Due to its dense growth habit, comfrey is an excellent weed suppressant.
Symphytum ibericum - Comfrey (Dwarf), believed to be 'Miraculum'
Comfrey is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial. This variety grows to a height of 40cm and will spread if left, so it needs to be kept under control. Stunning nodding clusters of tubular flowers appear in summer. Comfrey is very easy to grow and prefers moist soil in full sun or partial shade. This dwarf variety makes an excellent ground cover. I grow this plant under my roses. Use dwarf comfrey as you would Comfrey (Symphytum officinale).