For whom the purple bell tolls? And what is thy name?
June 12, 2011 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know what this plant could be?

It started out back as a bunch of clumps with big pointy leaves, not unlike hostas, if a bit hairy.

Then one day my husband said, "oh, those plants have purple flowers on them." Lo and behold, the clumps had grown up into what you see before you now.

I've looked online and in all my plant books, but for the life of me, I'm stumped. What are they?

We are in zone 5, Maine, and renting. I'd ask the owner but she's in Florida and probably wouldn't know what they are anyway, as the couple who owned the place before her were gardeners and may have planted these things. Or not. They could be weeds (?).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Looks like the herb comfrey. More pictures.
posted by dayintoday at 4:56 PM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Maybe virginia bluebells? Cellphones aren't great for photo-id pics, but that's what first came to mind.
posted by Ys at 5:02 PM on June 12, 2011

Those are Virginia Bluebells
posted by Renoroc at 5:04 PM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bluebells. (Cockle shells. Easy ivy over.)
posted by trip and a half at 5:20 PM on June 12, 2011

Best answer: No that's definitely comfrey, guys.
posted by pullayup at 5:28 PM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Comfrey! How many times have I purchased the dried herb but never knew what the original plant looked like? Awesome! Thanks so much!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:35 PM on June 12, 2011

It is comfrey - I have a patch growing near my compost bin. It does have many medicinal uses but it can also be somewhat invasive.
posted by Ostara at 5:55 PM on June 12, 2011

Also beloved by bumblebees. I tend to be indulgent but if they bother you you might trim it back as it flowers.
posted by pullayup at 5:56 PM on June 12, 2011

Definitely comfrey. Leaves are wrong for bluebells.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:00 AM on June 18, 2011

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