Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: Heartsease

Posted on by royvickery |

Wade MacMorrighan, of Menlo, Iowa, asks: ‘Have you any idea why comfrey [Symphytum] was also called heartsease?’


I know of no mention of the name heartsease being used for comfrey in any publication, but P-LA contains a record of the following conversation with Paul Harrison, of Tooting, London, in August 1987:           ‘The only local plant name I know, in Lancashire, was heartsease; do you know what that is?’                                                                                                 ‘No … pansy?’                                                                                                         ‘No, it’s comfrey, at least I think that’s what it is – the plant they grow in back gardens for herbal cures’ [RV , 17 June 2023].

Image: cultivated, garden of Jane Austen’s House, Chawton, Hampshire, August 2023.

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