HARDY PERENNIALS: SYMPHYTUM

S. rubrum. Most of the ‘Comfreys’ are coarse growing, but S. rubrum is outstanding not only for being compact, but for its red flowers which continue for a very long time. These come on sprays up to 12 inches tall, from early June, with a background of deep green foliage. Roots are fleshy, not difficult to divide and the one important requisite is moistish soil, with a preference for some shade, though it is by no means a bog plant.

This is a subject I was lucky enough to rescue from obscurity and some plantsmen did not know that it existed. At first 1 placed it in deep shade but it did not thrive until I moved it into partial shade and moister soil, since when it has never looked back. It flowers for a much longer period than S. caucasicum. This in its way is quite pretty, for it has blue flowers on 2 feet stems during June and July. This and the rather coarse 2’/? feet S. peregrinum with blue flowers that fade to pink, are best suited for the ‘wild garden’.

SYMPHYTUM rubrum

SYMPHYTUM rubrum

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