Jubes's picture

Which species?

Observed: 6th May 2011 By: JubesJubes’s reputation in PlantsJubes’s reputation in PlantsJubes’s reputation in PlantsJubes’s reputation in Plants
Comfrey
Description:

Height approx 1 - 1.5 m. Prolific in my garden!

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Dryopithecus's picture

Notes

To see the original image, as I only recently discovered, one should click on the image shown.

My other sources are Sutton, D.: Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain & N. Europe (Kingfisher, 1988) and McClintock, D. & Fitter, R.S.R.: The Pocket Guide to Wild Flowers (Bk Club Associates, 1974, ex. Collins)

Dry.

AlanS's picture

Leaves

The leaves are NOT decurrent down to the next node as required in Symphytum officinale. My identification is fully consistent with CTW ed 3, with Stace and other modern identification guides.

Remember that S. officinale is one parent of S. x uplandicum, so some short, narrow decurrence is normal and expected. The blue colour comes from the asperum parent, as do details of leaf-shape and corolla shape that separate the hybrid from true S. officinale.

Most people are aware now that records of S. officinale with coloured (not creamy-white) flowers in much of England are nearly always errors - S. x uplandicum being much more common - hence article in the latest BSBI News. The situation in Scotland (or parts of Scotland at least) is, however, rather different, with purple-flowered S. officinale being more common than S. x uplandicum.

I think most of us are already aware of how to see the original image, and are careful to check it before adding a revision.

Alan

Dryopithecus's picture

I stand corrected!

Thanks for the explanation. Clearly I need a more up-to-date edition of CTW than my 1952 copy!

Would you not agree that, if the hybrids are so ubiquitous and have been around for so long, then we must by now have a hybrid swarm, which raises the question of whether any pure S. officinale remain on the British mainland, even in the pockets you mention?

Dry.