Wild Comfrey on the riverbank

Daily Walk in Difficult Times 39

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The roots of Comfrey are said to have traditional healing properties – it is also known as “knitbone”, which derives from the external use of poultices of its leaves and roots to heal burns, sprains, swelling, and bruises. In Western Europe, comfrey has been used topically for treating inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, gout, and thrombophlebitis, and internally for treating diarrhoea.

On the banks of the River Cerne near Charlton Down, the Comfrey plants have either white or pink flowers. They are both probably variations of Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), but there might also be hybrids between this and Rough Comfrey giving Russian or Blue Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum). I need to make a note of the stem details next time I am there. The flowers illustrated here look a bit interesting because they seem striped, and the flower buds are wrapped up in surprisingly hairy sepals.

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