cannot identify this pasture plant


Found in a somewhat wet area…please assist..


After conferring with another Master Gardener, we think the plant in your picture is Comfrey.

There are two types of what is commonly called Comfrey – Symphytum officinale which has 35 different species, and Cynoglossum virginianum which is a wild north American/Canadian native plant.  Both of these are members of the Borage family.

These plants have historically been used in phytochemistry, folk-herbal medicine and can be quite toxic when ingested or applied topically.  There are bans and health warnings in place in many jurisdictions around the world for products containing extracts of this plant.

That being said, there are also reported instances of leaves being used as a plant fertilizer, mulch and soil additive.

If this is a pasture where you are grazing livestock, we would suggest you try to remove the plant as it may have adverse affects if your animals ingest it.

Comfrey is a difficult plant to remove as it has very long stubborn roots which spread easily and can regrow from even the smallest piece of root being left in the soil, so it is therefore considered a noxious invasive weed.  It is also vital you do not compost the removed plant roots as it takes a long time to decompose and can be inadvertently spread elsewhere.

Removal is best done before the plant has a chance to flower and set seed as birds like to feed on the seed and then spread it elsewhere.