Cynoglossum virginianum L. - Wild Comfrey
Family - Boraginaceae
Stems - To .75m tall, from thick taproot, herbaceous, erect, simple, hirsute, subfistulose.
Stem and cauline leaf base.
Leaves - Alternate. Basal and lowest cauline leaves petiolate, spatulate, to +25cm long, densely pubescent, entire, scabrous. Upper cauline leaves sessile, clasping, densely pubescent, lanceolate to linear-oblong, to 10cm long, +3cm broad, reduced above, entire, blunt to rounded or subacute at apex.
Inflorescence - Terminal loose cymes(typically paired) in a scorpoid arrangement, indeterminate. Peduncles hirsute. Pedicels to -1cm, hirsute.
Flowers - Corolla tubular, funnelform, 5-lobed, to -1cm broad at apex. Tube to 2mm long. Lobes to 3mm long, 2.5mm broad, pale blue. Stamens 5, alternating with corolla lobes, adnate to corolla tube, mostly included. Anthers -1mm long. Ovary of 4 nutlets which appear attached at base. Style to 1.1mm long, arising from between nutlets (nutlets to +5mm long in fruit). Calyx deeply 5-lobed. Lobes to 4mm long, 2.5mm broad, oblong, densely pubescent.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Rich rocky woods, slopes, ravines, ridges, thickets, bottoms.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This species can be found mostly in the southern and eastern half of Missouri. The plant is easy to identify in the field because of its big basal leaves, hirsute stems, and pale blue flowers.
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-29-03, and in the Red Hills of Alabama, 3-25-06.