I've had great success propagating comfrey by digging up a root, cutting it into 2 cm pieces, taking a piece of 12mm rebar and jamming it into the group then dropping the root pieces into the resulting hole.

However, now that we have 10 acres, I need something more generous. There are large areas of terrace banking that need stabilising for example and doing the job at 2cm a timne is not going to cut it. 

I've been thinking about taking the root, tossing it through the mulcher to get many many small pieces, adding it to some compost, mixing well and applying to the desired area. The question is, how small a piece of comfrey root can I get away with?

Any ideas? Better still, any experience?

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Comment by Kali on March 19, 2012 at 7:43pm

Ok looks like green alkanet is the common name of this one, Pentaglottis sempervirens

Comment by Kali on March 19, 2012 at 7:37pm

alkanet was given to me as a borage, it is definately related, ( something like 60 species in the gencu) most commonly known as borage  is the annual one with the blue star shaped flowers, alkanet has flowers more like big forget-me-nots which they are also related to. still sound like what you have? looking up alkanna tinctoria it doesn't sound like the same thing, as the roots on these are yellow/brown, not black. it is a bit confusing trying to identify this plant from google searches, one site had a photo of it labelled anchusa capensis but when searching that name it looks like a different one from south africa.... whatever it is its pretty lol

Comment by Earl Mardle on March 19, 2012 at 8:29am

Hi Kali, as you say, looks like I might have to give it a whirl. 

Thanks for the offer of alkanet, it looks like the blue borage we already have, is there a difference? Wikipedia also refers to Alkanna tinctoria which produces a red dye, might your be that one?

Comment by Kali on March 18, 2012 at 4:35pm

you may have to be the scientist Earl and go for it! they do say every little bit grows don't they. I could send you some seeds of alkanet if you wish, it has a similar growth habit and uses to comfrey, and beautiful blue flowers that bees love at the end of winter and all through spring, this can also be divided once established, but seedlings would give you another way of starting lots of them. ( I have a photo of alkanet on here)


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