5

Large leaved plant with small blue flowers close to stem. Very vigorous growth. It is growing in London, United Kingdom in my back garden in semi shade. It first appeared last autumn with large leaves, which died away over winter, but has suddenly shot up over the last month, and is now two foot high and spread, with the small blue flowers having appeared in the last week.

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  • With identification questions, it's useful to describe where in the world you found the plant, and the conditions where you found it (sun, shade, rocky hillside, forested riverbank, and so on). If you have more information about the plant, please update your question to add it. Thanks. – Niall C. Apr 20 '15 at 23:26
8

It is Pentaglottis sempervirens (green alkanet), a member of the boaginaceae family (making it a "cousin" of the comfrey from Bamboo's answer (similar leaves), of forget-me-nots (flower!) and borage).

Like all his cousins it has a tendency to spread and self-seed, but is often tolerated to a certain extend because it looks pretty flowering almost year-round, thrives even in shady corners and the flowers are edible, like borage flowers.

  • Thank you Stephie and Bamboo for your very helpful comments and identification. I've looked at the pictures of alkanet through Google Search, and my plant looks exactly the same. I think I'll be digging it out tomorrow, as I don't want it to spread. Kind regards. Lesley – Lesley Apr 21 '15 at 20:25
  • @Lesley: Yet you could save a few flowers to garnish your salad or lunch tomorow ;-) Happy digging! – Stephie Apr 21 '15 at 20:28
2

It's Symphytum asperum, commonly known as comfrey or rough comfrey or prickly comfrey. Though pretty, it's a pernicious weed, but some people actually buy it for their gardens - make sure you remove any small ones when it seeds itself later, while they're still small and easy to get out. Those which have been established for more than 2 years have very deep roots, but if you like it, keep it - just keep a watch for the inevitable offspring which will arise. If you don't, it'll be everywhere...

When its small, early in the year, its easily mistaken for Foxglove (Digitalis), but if you touch the leaves, you can tell which is which - Foxglove leaves are pleasant to touch, this plant's leaves are not.

UPDATED ANSWER:

My ID was incorrect (thanks to Stephie below) - I read 'London' and glanced at the plant rather than examined it closely. This one is actually Pentaglottis sempervirens, common name Alkanet, just as much of a pain as that previously described, and again, commonly pops up in and around London. All other info remains the same...

  • But comfrey would have rough fuzzy more tongue-shaped leaves (very similar to te related borage (borago offic.)) and bell-shaped flowers in little clusters on a short common stem, I can see neither in OP's picture? – Stephie Apr 21 '15 at 14:24
  • @Stephie; thanks! I've examined the flowers more closely, and my answer is wrong - I shall correct it now. London is full of blue Symphytum (pain in the proverbial) but also is full of Pentaglottis.... – Bamboo Apr 21 '15 at 14:43
  • @Stephie - up to you – Bamboo Apr 21 '15 at 14:47
  • Thank you Stephie and Bamboo for your very helpful comments and identification. I've looked at the pictures of alkanet through Google Search, and my plant looks exactly the same. I think I'll be digging it out tomorrow, as I don't want it to spread. Kind regards. Lesley – Lesley Apr 21 '15 at 20:25
  • @Lesley - you may find its quite deep rooted, try to get it all out. I spent a day last week removing several baby versions of this in someone's garden in London... easy at that stage, if you spot them early enough. – Bamboo Apr 22 '15 at 10:44
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It's comfrey. Look up videos on comfrey, I just watched like 10 last night, it all had white or blue flowers. Look up "comfrey identification" and go to videos.

  • 1
    No, I disagree. It doesn't look like comfrey to me. The leaves on the picture looks smooth, whereas comfrey is rather rough with small "hair". – J. Chomel May 11 '16 at 7:41
  • Images are sometimes more accurate than video. – J. Chomel May 11 '16 at 7:41

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