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Is this comfrey? Now with Pictures!

 
Posts: 156
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While driving to the in-laws today I saw what I thought was comfrey, however after looking at some pictures online they do not look like what I saw.

These plants were about 3.5 feet tall.  Looked like a single stalk, with broad thick fuzzy leaves.  At the top of the single stalk were small yellow flowers.  I dug a couple of plants up and they had big whitish looking taproot.

Is this a comfrey plant?  Any ideas what it could be?  If it is comfrey I want to dig up some more on the way home.

Thanks Shawn
 
Shawn Bell
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Sorry, we did not have our camera with us to take a picture of it to post.

What caught my eye was this shape (in the picture).

The old man I stopped and asked said he did not know what it was, and had never heard of comfrey.  He said he called it "that plant that looks like tobacco".
russian-comfrey.JPG
russian-comfrey
russian-comfrey
 
            
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Location: Montana
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Could it have been Mullein


http://montana.plant-life.org/
 
Shawn Bell
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Some pictures of the plant I dug up.  I did not get a larger plant with flowers due to a growling boxer.
081.JPG
[Thumbnail for 081.JPG]
 
Shawn Bell
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It is wilted after a two days in the back of the pickup.
082.JPG
[Thumbnail for 082.JPG]
 
Shawn Bell
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Another picture.
083.JPG
[Thumbnail for 083.JPG]
 
Shawn Bell
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Matt, I checked out the web site you linked.  A very close guess, but the Mullein is skinnier and the flower stalk is much taller and more clustered than the plants I saw.  But the written description sounds just like my description.

Hopefully these picture can help someone ID the plant.  The farmer said I could have all I wanted, I just want to make sure that this is not some useless weed.

Thanks,

Shawn
 
                    
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Shawn Bell wrote:
Matt, I checked out the web site you linked.  A very close guess, but the Mullein is skinnier and the flower stalk is much taller and more clustered than the plants I saw.  But the written description sounds just like my description.

Hopefully these picture can help someone ID the plant.  The farmer said I could have all I wanted, I just want to make sure that this is not some useless weed.

Thanks,

Shawn



isn't mullein biennial, meaning year one is just the rosette and the stalk is in year 2?
 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Looks like mullein to me.
It's definitely not comfrey.
 
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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its mullien, i grow that stuff on purpose for a few reasons. it medicinal and it makes a crazy good insulating mulch for protecting winter roots on plants that are not hardy enough. the small birds like it too here.

 
                            
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Looks like Mullein. It won't have a tall flower stalk til later in the year. It's just spring.
 
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Location: Portland, OR
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forest garden fungi foraging
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that definitely looks like mullein to me.  it's a wonderful plant to have around.  it makes a most excellent toilet paper substitute
 
                    
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ditto. I suspect ya got mullein.  to ID using the bathroom test, mullein will decidedly out perform any comfrey variety, resisting tears and gently doing its work. in fact, it out performs most paper. early leaves and buds make nice smoke blend as well.
 
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Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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out west , the leaves of mullien are wider ,and hairy.

were the flowers on central stalk? very tall? bunched like globe mallow?
 
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Location: north texas 7b now 8a
fish fungi trees
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looks like first year mullien, smoked by indians for lung problems.
 
steward
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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It is mullein. I let it come up in my garden. This year I transplanted 9 plants to areas that were kind of barren. It is a bienniel - the second year it will produce a 3-5 foot flower stalk. Good for respiratory ailments and arthritis. I have used it in tea for asthma. Have made a strong tea from whole plant in 5 gallon bucket and let older horse with swollen joints drink from it , he got better quick - gulped it down the first day , second just a little and was better on 3rd. Great soil builder , accumulator, attracts birds to the seeds, good mulch but is slow growing. Go to Pauls videos and view the one on mullein. By the way - it is in same family as comfrey and borage.
 
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Location: Western foothills of Maine
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I steep mullien root and garlic cloves in olive oil. It makes a great remedy for ear infections. I give it to my little guy at the first sign of any ear pain. So much better than antibiotics.
gift
 
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