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sources, buying, starting comfrey

 
                    
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hi .. i am new here, i somehow wondered across ya'll on a homesteading forum....i have enjoyed browsing around here.
i am looking and wanting to find out how to grow or where to get a start of comphrey, my mother made some salve with comphrey and wants to locate some more to make some more salve with, she will 81 years young come september. so i told her i would see what i could find for her.....i have searched for it and so has she, but so far no luck.....

thanks
samm
 
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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(I used my master-of-the-universe powers to edit the subject line)

Comfrey is an excellent plant for lots and lots of reasons. 

I've only heard of people getting it started by transplanting existing plants.  My impression is that the roots left by the old plant grow back easily.

So, the thing to do is to mention whereabouts you are and see if there is somebody not too far away from you that is willing to send some plants!

 
                    
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thanks .....i am in  north central Texas. 
 
Posts: 298
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Horizon Herbs (http://www.horizonherbs.com/) sells comfrey. I'd look to them first.

Dave
 
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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I ordered some rootstocks from Horizon Herbs and they came promptly. Sadly, the unseasonably wet weather we're experiencing I think has drowned them out.  Maybe they will perk up, but I may have to order some more too.
 
                    
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thank ya'll.....my mom remembered  a place down by Tyler called blue moon nursery, and they have comphrey, we are going to have a day trip and run down yonder and check it all out,,,i am excited !!   i appreciate the quick responses...

samm
 
Posts: 13
Location: Western WA and Okanogan Highlands
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Wow, I've never heard of anyone having a hard time growing comfrey. Maybe it's the climate difference. On my property in Western WA State it has become an invasive weed. Once you get it started, you'll have plenty! Just plant it in a spot where you don't care if it's there forever, as it's very hard to kill once established.

...in my experience, anyway.
 
Nicholas Covey
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I think it simply got waterlogged and didn't get started properly. I reordered and this year it's about a foot tall now.
 
Ann Copperowl
Posts: 13
Location: Western WA and Okanogan Highlands
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It's a wonderful plant and can grow very fast -- not as fast as kudzu, but still impressive. I understand it makes good compost if you decide you have too much.
 
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I purchased some rhizomes from Horizon Herbs last year.  I in particular picked the Bocking 14 cultivar which is sterile (I've read they spread readily through seed and have seen seed packs for sale) and is supposed to be good for using as a compost material and medicine.  There's also a Bocking 4 cultivar that is supposed to be better for eating.  Only 2 of 6 rhizomes survived probably just from underwatering last season but the ones that are left are very vigorous.  At least if they're sterile I don't have to worry about birds or other things scattering these things around randomly.
 
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starting comfrey is easy, if you have a good location.  It needs sunshine!  I started some in the shade and it did very little.  I love to get starts from friends as it adds to the sentimentality of my garden.
If you don't want your comfrey to spread [as much] don't dig and disturb the roots, use only the leaves, or plant it in a container. It is an amazing plants with many healing properties. I love a cup of comfrey herb and peppermint tea in the evenings.  Good Luck!
another place to buy the herb already dried and ready to use in ointments, etc., is Mountain Rose Herbs (mountainroseherbs.com) they have excellent organic herbs. 
 
                            
Posts: 126
Location: Ava, Mo, USA, Earth
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I got 20 of the Bocking 14 starts from Horizon this year.  They are all doing great.  I can, however, tell that my soil is lacking N.  The ones I peed on are twice the size of the one's I haven't gotten to yet.

 
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I have started comfrey from seed with no issues, got my original seed from Sand Mountain Herbs.

http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/comfrey_common.html

I usually get them established a bit in my green house then plant out.
 
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I ordered the 'rare seeds' that you sometimes hear about, a few bucks from an Etsy seller, only they arrived smashed. She agreed to send me a couple shards of the comfrey root wrapped up but bare. My garden was still frozen, so I put the large piece and tiny piece in pots on the windowsill. They grew like crazy, the large one even flowered before I could get them in the ground. Each transplanted comfrey was up to six feet after the first thirty warm days. Potent and easily propagated! Email me in April, I can break off a piece of it for you. I love making trades and swapping seeds, too.
 
paul wheaton
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Here is skeeter talking about his comfrey seeds:




 
Posts: 68
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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Wow this forum never ceases to amaze me! I do a Google search and find myself back where I should have started! Thanks for the good info!
 
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Location: North Central Michigan
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started dozens of baby plants this year..just dug up a clump of roots and divided them into sections and planted one by each of my fruit trees, a few came up already and I expect the others to grow in the spring.

I would give you a section of root if you were able to come by, or if not, maybe in the spring I could mail you some if you sent me address and money for a small usps box.
 
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I just posted some root cuttings for sale, and could definitely help you out if you haven't found a source yet.

Thanks,

Jon
 
Posts: 1131
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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paul wheaton wrote:Here is skeeter talking about his comfrey seeds:






where might one find some seeds for the true comfrey???
 
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I bought my 'true' comfrey from Horizon Herbs Horizon Herbs Comfrey page

Seem to have done well do far - planted them a little late last year, but they flowered OK and I managed to find a few seeds.

Looking forward to see what happens this year, once the cold lets up.

HTH
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1131
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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thanks chris, appreciate it:)
 
Posts: 308
Location: long island, ny Z-7a
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I plan on ordering a whole bunch from "Coe's comfrey" in NC,
they grow the bocking 4 type, not 14. theyre pretty similar,its all explained on the site.

their prices look better than horizon and others i've found. they even throw in extra plants equal to what shipping comes to !
i will let everyone know how they are when i get to orderning. (figured it's too early still here in NY. although its been crazy mild allw inter,,40s and 50s this week)


 
                                    
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true or old world comphrey would be found in some areas in the US apparently more widespread in Europe. I found a patch of symphytum aspertum (prickly comphrey) a while ago. It's function on the sides of the roads is with the nettles- very invasive, but utilizing the light from the road, the forest nutrient cycles and high ground waters/rain levels (including runoff from the road). And keeping the blackberries on ther toes which is worth it in itself.
 
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