Common Comfrey - Symphytum officinale


Stout plant to 1.2 metres. Stems erect, widely winged. Leaves large and coarse, untoothed, strongly decurrent (the base running on to the stem) for more than one section of stem between nodes, only the lowest stalked. Flowers, pink, whitish or purple-violet 12 to 18 mm bell shaped with reflexed lobes, borne in forked clusters. Nutlets usually smooth and shining.

Similar Species

Many other species, hybrids and varieties of comfrey with blue, pink or pale flowers - especially Russian Comfrey and Hidcote Comfrey, for which it is often recorded in error.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Provide a photo of the plant in its habitat, plus close-up photos of details of leaves/stems, flowers and nutlets.  The photos must show strongly decurrent leaf bases.


Damp grassland, roadside verges and banks of streams.

UK Status

According to Stace (4th edition) it is locally frequent in the British Isles, but less common that and over-recorded for Russian comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum)

VC55 Status

Despite the name, this is not the commonest comfrey in VC55, but has probably been over-recorded in the past for one of the hybrids.  Because of this, status is uncertain, but it may be uncommon or occasional.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Common Comfrey
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
03/07/2018 (Charity, Kenneth)
Last record:
07/09/2021 (Nicholls, David)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

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