Standing outside in the rain this morning, waiting for the bus with the girls, I noticed the comfrey is blooming. We have a crescent-shaped piece of land that is isolated by the driveway, and on one side my mother planted comfrey probably fifteen years ago now, when we moved in. It has gradually taken over, despite Dad taking most of the roots out twice in the last three years. This year there is less of it, but still there are silvery green fountains of leaves, topped by scorpiode flower spikes. The flowers are lavender purple, with a tiny, neat edge of white at the opening of their bell shape. They hang down, and in the rain must make a nice haven for tiny insects. I know that in the sun they will bring both fat, fuzzy bumblebees, and hummingbirds to the yard. The comfrey has taken over the one side of the Crescent, the horseradish the other, and at the feet of both these large plants creeps the mint and Johnny-Jump-Ups.
Etymology: Middle English cumfirie, from Old French, from Latin conferva a water plant, from confervEre to grow together (of bones), from com- + fervEre to boil.
: any of a genus (Symphytum) of perennial herbs of the borage family with coarse hairy entire leaves and flowers in one-sided racemes