E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Symphytum asperum Lepechin
rough comfrey (prickly comfrey)
Boraginaceae (Borage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Symphytum asperum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick taproot; stems branched, not winged, 0.3-1.2 m tall; stem and inflorescence with coarse, spreading, bristly hairs.
Basal leaves stalked, large, the blades elliptic to egg-shaped or narrowly egg-shaped, heart-shaped or rounded at the base, 15-20 cm long and 5-10 cm wide; stem leaves ample, gradually becoming smaller and shorter-stalked upward, with long-tapering, pointed tips, with coarse bristly hairs on both surfaces, entire, alternate.
Inflorescence of several to many small, coiled, bractless clusters; corollas blue (pink in bud), tubular bell-shaped, 1-1.5 cm long; petals fused at base into a tube that flares at top to bell-shaped limb (longer than tube) and 5 lobes, the lobe tips erect, the throat with 5 narrow, hairy bulges; calyx teeth blunt-tipped.
Nutlets 4, clustered together, curved inward, granular, finely wrinkled.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to mesic roadsides and waste places in the lowland, steppe and lower montane zones; rare in S BC, infrequent northward; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Symphytum asperum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 570 570 570
Slope Gradient (%) 30 30 30
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
246 245 246
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 3
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Symphytum asperrimum Donn ex Sims

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References