When they are Symphytum grandiflora ‘Hidcote Blue’, otherwise known as ornamental comfrey!
Thanks to Stacy over at the fantastic blog Microcosm, the plant I thought to be a variety of Mertensia, aka Virginia Bluebells, has been correctly identified!
This is not the first time I’ve purchased plants that were mislabeled. I thought I was buying Viriginia Bluebells and had specifically wanted them for a couple of partial – shady spots in the yard. The plants and flowers look very similar and it wasn’t until I was home in PA last week and visited my friend Bev’s garden that I noticed the leaves of her Mertensia looked very different from mine.
Fortunately, my ornamental comfrey (!) has performed fabulously in both shady locations. The blue flowers are gorgeous, and the fuzzy dark foliage remained all winter (granted it was a mild one.)
Here is a comparison between my plant and photos of Symphytum grandiflora ‘Hidcote Blue’ found online. Thanks again, Stacy, for figuring it out!
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
Another site indicated that ornamental comfrey can be invasive in some areas, but so far it has not shown signs of wanting to take over the yard. It has grown in the past year, but I must say it’s been one of my favorite plants in the garden. I’m hoping it will continue to be well behaved!