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This rhubarb's too easy to let it crumble.
Rheum rhaponticum is a great rhubarb for beginners as it’s simple to grow and you're likely to get good results. This hardy perennial can be grown in partial shade or full sun, and will thrive in moist soil conditions. It is ideal for either the veggie patch or an ornamental garden. Rheum’s dark green foliage adds some extra colour to any border or vegetable garden, The edible stems will bring a crimson flash to your garden. Better still, rhaponticum is extremely hardy, and should produce crops year after year. This rhubarb is also swift growing, making it ideal as a starter plant.
- Avoid eating leaves of this plant, or you may have mild stomach upset.
- 0.6 - 0.9
- No, neutral please
- Late spring
- Early summer
- Mid summer
- -46 - -1
- 0 - 150
- well-drained but frequently watered
- Full sun
- Flowers & bulbs
- Attractive flowers and foliage
- Pond plants
- Bog garden
- Cottage garden
- Flower beds
- 2 to 5 years
Ornamental garden plants can create something special but it is also worth considering practical plants for their colour and vitality too. A perfect example is Rheum, better known to you and me as Rhubarb. This vegetable has thick, succulent stalks that make fantastic, tangy tarts but with extremely large, triangular-shaped wrinkled leaves, it can also serve a second purpose as groundcover. Depending on the chosen species of this genus, its flowers can range from greenish-white to a deep red, and grow erect from the centre of the foliage, which is often tinged with copper red too. Rhubarb loves moist soil and some pruning, with spent flowering spikes removed.
One of the most spectacular examples of rhubarb is Rheum palmatum, also known as Chinese Rhubarb. What makes it so special is not its large, hand-shaped leaves, which become tinged with purple. It is the plume of scarlet blossoms that grows along erect stalks when flowering. Initially coloured white, it looks as though a small milky green and then scarlet tree is growing from its heart. Like all rhubarbs, it loves very moist soil and partially shaded areas. For pruning, remove the tall stalks after flowering.
Rheum rhabarbarum you'll know as rhubarb. With large green leaves and thick fleshy edible red leaf stalks, it's an impressive plant. The leaf stalks are strong tasting and tart, they are usually eaten cooked with plenty of sugar as a dessert, perfect for a rhubarb crumble. Rhubarb has been used as a laxative medicine for thousands of years and is commonly used in Chinese medicine. The leaves are poisonous and should not be eaten.