Sunday, May 31, 2009

Overcome by Comfrey

After the protracted chill and practically endless rains of the last 2 weeks, it is time to resume wrestling the comfrey ( Symphytum Officinale) out of the back yard. I had hoped to uproot it before it sent out those stalks with their tiny almost flourescent blue blossoms. I am particularly susceptible to their beauty, and have come to understand comfrey as a plant with great healing powers.

Of course there are its uses as an herbal and homeopathic remedy. Symphytum leaves and roots are used as a poltice to treat broken bones and sprains, and has similar uses in homeopathy. Comfrey has some poisonous qualities (as do many healing herbs) and is not to be taken orally. It is said to make really good fertilizer,containing all three vital nutrients, especially the hard (for plants) to find potassium. Indeed, the dirt beneath all that growth is even better than the beds we have been nurturing for the last ten years. I have my own theory about comfrey. I believe it removes toxins from a meeting room -- the emotional, psychic, human kind -- especially when it's blooming, But the stuff is invasive as all get out. It has strangled my strawberries, probably killed my little cherry tree and spread into the ancestral oregano bed. It must be stopped.

Ignoring the alluring blossoms I waded back in, filling one large trash can and half of another. I thought I might get through 2 cans worth until I noticed a bumble bee enjoying the nectar. Foiled! Who am I to interfere with a pollinator? In another couple weeks the blossoms will be gone. It won't re-establish itself that fast ... will it?

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