Dwarf comfrey (Symphytum grandiflorum), also known as large-flowered comfrey, isn’t an oh-wow perennial, but its blooms are exquisite upon close inspection. Held in an inflorescence that’s curled like a scorpion’s tail, the bell-shaped spring blooms are typically red to pink in bud, gradually turning blue and then near-white; sometimes, though, they stay blue. The plants are typically 12 to 16 inches tall in leaf, and 18 to 24 inches tall in bloom. They spread by creeping rhizomes to eventually form broad clumps.
All that maybe doesn’t make for a compelling reason to grow this plant, but I value it and am happy to have it in my garden because of its ability to grow well in shade–even in the dry shade under a shallow-rooted willow. If you have a woodland-type garden or need to fill tough spots under shrubs and trees, I highly recommend it. I would not advise letting it loose in the rich, moist soil of a formal border, where it may spread too aggressively–unless you really need to fill a lot of space, of course.
Partial to fill shade. Perennial; reportedly hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 8.
Collected in July 2020. At least 10 seeds. (Only 1 packet available this year!)