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Giant Rhubarb Overview
Gunnera manicata is a very large herbaceous perennial in the Gunneraceae family, grown for its stunning ornamental properties. Common names include Giant Rhubarb, Chilean Rhubarb and Prickly Rhubarb. Its foliage is dramatic - huge, rounded, lobed, sharply toothed, roughly textured leaves that grow up to 2m wide! They are borne on conical spiny stems and the flowers - masses of tiny reddish-green blooms on erect spikes - are usually formed at a height of around 1m in summer. They are red-brown in colour and are followed by spherical red-green fruit. Gunnera manicata has a clumping habit and is hardy to -15C. Although a robust plant, it prefers a sheltered position, is happy in full sun to partial shade and needs a moist, poorly draining soil for optimal growth. Suitable for larger gardens, Gunnera manicata provides architectural interest alongside streams, ponds, lakes or in bog gardens, where it is likely to spread if left unchecked.
Common problems with Giant Rhubarb
Generally pest and disease free.
How to propagate Giant Rhubarb
Sow seed as soon as it is ripe as it loses viability quickly. Needs gentle heat.
Cuttings of leafy, basal buds in spring in spring.
Special features of Giant Rhubarb
Other uses of Giant Rhubarb
Ornamental, waterside, bog.