I was wondering if anyone could help me identify what this plant is? We have found it growing in our garden in England a few times and are unsure what it could be.

Comfrey plant

  • 1
    Certainly an OK question here - where about are you in England? (We get similar in our garden but we lump them under 'weed' - we're in the South)
    – Aravona
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 10:06
  • I am in Yorkshire, must be a nationwide pest! Commented May 9, 2017 at 11:23
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    the definition of a weed is always ambiguous though, knowing the proper name would be interesting!
    – Aravona
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 11:31
  • Not sure if any of these would be of help: telegraph.co.uk/gardening/tools-and-accessories/… Commented May 9, 2017 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


The thick veins make me believe it is Comfrey. Your image is of a young plant so it is hard to tell for sure.

It is and has been an important part of herbal treatments and gardening. It is used across the world.

  • 1
    That is definitely one of the ones we get in our garden, but we tend to get rid of them. Interesting to know more about it :)
    – Aravona
    Commented May 9, 2017 at 12:33
  • Word of caution, Foxgloves are very commonly mistaken for Comfrey... foxgloves are very very toxic. Please edit this answer to reflect that! buzzardbushcraft.co.uk/2015/04/…
    – JeffUK
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 9:15
  • @JeffUK foxgloce is very different plant it grows tall and thin with small leaves, while comfrey grows low and wide with big leaves, While foxglove is very toxic, it would be inappropriate to try and list any or all of the plants that might get confused. i.e. lambs ear could be confused with either. Commented May 12, 2017 at 13:55
  • Comfrey and foxglove are commonly mistaken for each other more sources here motherearthliving.com/Gardening/… here oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=30 and here millstreamgardens.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/…
    – JeffUK
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 14:24
  • Possibly worth editing that into the post, but I can't see how they are mistaken, myself.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 12, 2017 at 18:26

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