Rheum | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

Pass the custard!

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.

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Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating leaves of this plant, or you may have mild stomach upset.
Height [m]
  • 0.5 - 0.7
Spread [m]
  • 1.2
Dominant flower colour
  • White
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • seed
  • division
Growth habit
  • Clump-forming
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z3-9
Heat zone
  • H9-1
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -40 - -1
Heat days
  • 0 - 150
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Flowers & bulbs
  • Perennials
Grown for
  • Attractive flowers and foliage
Creative category
  • Colours
  • Pond plants
Garden type
  • Bog garden
  • Woodland
  • Cottage garden
Garden spaces
  • Flower beds
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • intermediate
Time to reach full size
  • 2 to 5 years