London (change)
16 messages
23/04/2013 at 21:02


I have started working in a garden which has lots of these plants in them, & I'm not sure what they are, I'm thinking they are some kind of echium? but not pininana's, which I have too!

If any one knows what they are I'd be very grateful.

There is lots of last years (dead) growth laying around them which is about just over a metre.

thanks in advance

23/04/2013 at 21:04

Is there a photo Jc?

23/04/2013 at 21:07

 Sorry thought the pictures had gone through!!! 

23/04/2013 at 21:20

The pics are a bit small and my eyes are a bit old. But echiums are mostly if not always biennial, this looks like a perennial. Possibly one of the comphreys.

23/04/2013 at 21:28

Thanku for your reply nutcutlet, yes it is a perennial ( have got big fat roots!) but the leaves are slightly furry I thought comphrey's were smooth?


23/04/2013 at 21:32

They're quite rough. not smooth at all, not sure about the furry.  It's a bit dark out there now but I'll go and take a pick of mine tomorrow. I have the big native one , (officinalis)  the blue one and a little whitish one, but it's not that.

23/04/2013 at 21:44

Couldn't be a centurea could it? Perennial cornflower.


24/04/2013 at 07:54

Or pulmonaria (lungwort)? Tiny blue, pink or whit flowers? Some leaves might be spotted...

24/04/2013 at 09:09

My guess is Comfrey. Take a look at

24/04/2013 at 11:39

I think it's this one, one of the blue comphreys. Never really worked out which one for sure.

 This is it later on

 Beautiful blue, bit invasive.

26/04/2013 at 20:02

Great compost accelerator/plant feed though! And the bees love comfrey.


26/04/2013 at 20:14

Lovely plant but not for small gardens or the tidy minded

26/04/2013 at 20:26

Agree with BusyLizzie-looks like knapweed to me. Centaurea. It's quite common round here and it's just at that stage now despite the cold weather.

26/04/2013 at 20:44

I think nutcutlet is right - the flower buds look identical if you extract the photo and blow it up in an external image viewer.  I wish they'd fix the photos on the site so we can just click them to zoom-in, like we used to be able to.

26/04/2013 at 21:09

Knapweeds have tight, dark, upright buds at the top of the stem, you can see them in Busy-Lizzie's photo. This plant has the buds of multiple flowers emerging and dangling between leaf and stalk. You're right Bob, it would be really nice to be able to see them clearly.

28/04/2013 at 18:58

hi guys,

          Thanks for all your replies! it's definatly not lungwort ( I have loads of that), & knapweed just doesn't look quite right, I think it is probably compfrey? it's growing in the veggie patch so it would make sense, I guess it'll be one of those wait & see what it is moments!! ( I quite like those!) I will let you know once the flowers come 

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