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Comfrey flowers

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This picture shows some flowers of a Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale). And whereas for other plants bumblebees are welcome guests, for the comfrey they are probably one of the worst pests.

The entrance of the about 2cm long flowers ist too narrow for bumblebees. To get some of the apperently abundant nectar, they bite holes with a diameter of about 1mm into the upper part of the flowers and then take out the nectar. Of cause this way they don't pollinate a single flower. At the end of the flowering period nearly all flowers of this plant have such holes. With the usefulness it is as with the beauty - it is in the eye of the observer.

Apart from this there is not much to say about this plant. Its big, rough leaves are long decurrent. It can be found very frequently on nutritious and more or less humid meadows or low herbaceous vegetations. The plant got its german name "Beinwell" (Bein=leg) because in former times people thought, it could heal injuries of legs.

I took the picture in july 2000 on a meadow of the river Rhine near Bonn-Beuel (germany).

Homepage(2)     Plants(index) by Michael Becker, 2/2002. Last modification: 2/2002.