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Trachystemon orientalis
@ Juniper Level Botanic Gdn, NC

Trachystemon orientalis

Black Sea Comfrey

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Item #: 918

Zones: 6a to 8b, at least

Height: 6" tall

Culture: Part Sun to Shade

Origin: Bulgaria, Turkey

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L) ?

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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Trachystemon orientalis is a wonderful and easy-to-grow pulmonaria relative, imported to the US from China by plantsman John Elsley in the 1970s, although its native haunts are moist valleys in the Black Sea region. Unlike many things from the '70s, Trachystemon orientalis survived the test of time. The bold, 8" long, sandpapery green leaves make a superb 6" tall, dense, deciduous ground cover that is unrivaled for dry shade...similar in appearance to comfrey. The first sign of spring is the wonderful spikes of dodecatheon-like blue flowers to 6" tall, starting in late February/early-March (NC)...a favorite of early foraging honeybees. If that's not enough, Trachystemon orientalis is rather effective as a fungicide, and in Turkey, the roots, flowers, and leaves are actually eaten.