Symphytum officinale L.


Perennial herb to about 1 m tall with tuberous roots. Leaves oblong to lanceolate, covered with bristly hair, the bases extending along the stem. Flowers white to pink or purplish, 1-1.5 cm long and with long stalks.


This plant seeds freely, so it needs monitoring carefully.

Renowned for its medicinal properties but extreme care is needed, as liver failure may be caused by ingestion.


S. caucasicum M. Bieb. is listed; it is similar to S. officinale but has reddish purple flowers that change to blue.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Boraginaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      [Boraginales]
family       Boraginaceae
genus        Symphytum L.