Symphytum Caucasicum - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Symphytum Caucasicum Described.
Symphytum Caucasicum - Symphytum Caucasicum.
Caucasian Comfrey; Nat. Ord. Boraginaceæ.
A comparatively modern species in English gardens, belonging to a genus well
represented by native species, from which this differs mainly in being less tall and hairy, and otherwise less coarse. The erect habit, and abundant azure
flowers produced in pendent form, which, moreover, last for several weeks, go
to make this a capital border plant. If not an old species, from its resemblance
to some which are so, it is rendered a suitable companion to "old-fashioned" subjects. The plant grows to a height of nearly 2ft., is of dark greyish-green
colour, from being thickly covered with short, stiff hairs, on every part, including the calyx.
The flowers are more than ½in. long, produced in elongated clusters,
opening three or four at a time, and just before expansion they are of a bright
rose colour, but afterwards turn a fine blue; calyx five-parted, as also is the
corolla, the segments being drawn in at the mouth. The entire flower is long
and bell-shaped; the pendent clusters of bloom are well held out from the main
stem by leafy branches, each being terminated by two racemes. The leaves of the root are large and stalked, oval, lance-shaped, and wrinkled; those of the
stems are stalkless, and so attached as to give the stems a winged appearance
near their junction.
The plant will thrive in any kind of soil, but it likes shade and moisture,
and a specimen grown under such conditions will be found to be much superior
in every way. A position under fruit trees suits it admirably, and for such thoughtful
planting it will well repay the lover of flowers for vase decoration. It also
makes a good subject for large or rough rockwork, on which, however, it should
be sheltered from the midday sun. Its propagation may be carried out at any time
by dividing the roots, but autumn is the preferable period.
Flowering period, April to June.
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