Symphytum grandiflorum

Symphytum grandiflorum DC. (syn.: S. ibericum Steven) (Caucasus) – A very rare but increasing, locally naturalized garden throw-out, escape from or relic of cultivation. Recorded since at least 1999 in woodland near a castle in Heks (Borgloon), apparently as a feudal plant (Verloove 2002). Two additional populations were discovered in 2007 in a nearby sunken road towards Broekom, more than one kilometer away from the castle. Also discovered in more or less disturbed woodland (discarded garden waste,…) in Houthulst in 2001 (confirmed and slightly spreading in 2008). Since then more regularly observed and by now known from several localities, for instance, in the Kempen (see: for an up-to-date overview for Flanders). Symphytum grandiflorum always grows in shady, slightly damp habitats (mainly deciduous woodland and hedges) and tends to spread fast (stoloniferous perennial). It is still much confused with Symphytum xhidcotense, its hybrid with S. xuplandicum.

Most authors now consider this species to be conspecific with Symphytum ibericum. However, Jäger & al. (2008) still accepts both as distinct.

Symphytum grandiflorum, Dessel, March 2013, R. Barendse Symphytum grandiflorum, Dessel, March 2013, R. Barendse

Selected literature:

Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith