Where can I get my hands on some comfrey?

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comfrey © by AlicePopkorn2, used under Creative Commons license.
Gardening question for the green thumbs out there:

I’ve been wanting to plant comfrey for a couple years now but can’t seem to find it commercially. Even found hint that it might be banned (?).

Anyone have more advice for me on this or how I can get some comfrey for my garden? I know a couple people (unfortunately states away) who have plants, so I know it’s got to be possible.

-Chris


We know this much: comfrey’s healing properties are NO JOKE. Ariel’s convinced comfrey compresses are part of what healed her husband’s face after he had a gnarly bike accident in 2006. But we know nothing about where to get it. Homies, any advice?

Comments on Where can I get my hands on some comfrey?

  1. TIL that Etsy stores sell seeds. This has revolutionized my life.

    Etsy Listing for TRUE Comfrey

    Horizon Herbs

    The Growers Exchange

    I can’t vouch for these sites very well, but my first step in acquiring a plant I really, really, really want is acquiring the seeds! My usual sources are Logee’s (currrrrrry!), Baker’s Heirloom Seeds, and Seed Savers Exchange, yet none had it. Keep us posted as you look!

    • I’ve ordered from Horizon Herbs several times over the last few years, including comfrey. I have gotten nothing but great specimens and appreciate their diverse seed selection; I would recommend them 100%!

    • I’ve also ordered from Horizon Herbs. They do a really great job packing their live plants for shipping. 🙂 I will say though they sell a number of species that I consider invasive/weedy.

    • Some places count it as an invasive (I believe it’s an invasive here) and some don’t. Google the phrase “county extension service” and check with your county to make certain before you shell out for seeds.

    • FWIW, in my county mint is considered an invasive plant, but we’re still allowed to plant it. The catch is that it needs to be in a pot. So there -might- be some workarounds for invasive plants.

      edit: Though I always wondered what they would do if they found it sans pot? Because I’ve seen plenty of wild mint in community gardens.

      • Most places have a tiered system for classifying invasive plants. The worst offenders are usually required to be removed/ destroyed by law and have prohibitions on import and sale. Another tier may recommend removal but not compel it. Another tier may just be plants that are not recommended because they are weedy as all get out. A plant that is a common weed may not be restricted because there is no hope of ever removing it completely from a region or if the plant doesn’t have a big economic impact. Sort of sad but it releases resources to combat other problem plants.

        • Yep-for example, up in Canada each province has diff policies. Here, while lots of species are considered invasive, those labelled as noxious are really the ones regulated by law, and inspectors are responsible for ordering and overseeing control tactics. Easy enough info to find.

  2. Comfrey is really easy to propagate from the root. You can often find it growing as a weed at community gardens, since it is really invasive. Just dig up a piece of the root, no matter how small and transplant it. It may take over wherever you transplant it to though! I would recommend just harvesting it and keeping it as a dried herb. Ask around your community gardens, or a local herbalist, many people would welcome you harvesting it as there is usually way more growing than most people can use! I’d send you a root myself, but it’s winter here in Ontario!

  3. If you live near a farmers market or farms, I would talk to farmers to see if they have some you could get a clipping or root from. A local herbalist is another great person to ask. It’s wild here so even on a hike you can find some.

  4. Hi Chris,
    What part of the country are you in? I’m in the Midwest and the ground might not be *too* frozen for me to get a bit of root if you’re interested and can’t source from elsewhere.
    Cheers!

  5. You probably know this (and others have already pointed it out), but comfrey can be really invasive. Plant it once and you’ll have it forever. So if you’d like to keep it controlled as much as you can, go for sterile varieties, like Bocking Nº 4. I believe Nº 14 is sterile as well, but I’m not su sure about that.
    Unlike the wild variety, it won’t re-seed itself and thus stay where you planted it… unless you split up the roots, at least.

    Oh, and in case there are people living in Germany, they have Comfrey at this place: http://www.kraeuter-und-duftpflanzen.de/

  6. I planted comfrey once… mum tried to get rid of it, had to dig a good foot+some to get to the roots, pulls the shoots AND weed sprays it, and it keeps coming back. So make sure where you plant it, you’re happy for it to be there FOR LIFE!!

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