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Giant Rhubarb, Gunnera tinctoria


Short description of Gunnera tinctoria, Giant Rhubarb

It is a fast-growing clump-forming perennial herb which can grow up to 2m in height and has huge leathery leaves with cordate bases arising from a stout brown scaly rhizome. The leaf stalks bear short pale bristles and weak spines. Tiny flowers are borne on erect, cone-like compound inflorescences up to 1m long, followed by hundreds of densely packed small red-orange fruits; each plant has up to five inflorescences.

Description of Gunnera tinctoria, Giant Rhubarb status in GB

Giant-rhubarb is a popular garden ornamental that has become well-established and sometimes problematic in western districts. It appears to be spreading.

Habitat summary: Gunnera tinctoria, Giant Rhubarb

In a range of sunny or partly shaded sheltered habitats on permanently wet soils. It grows best in temperate areas with high rainfall.

Overview table

Environment: Terrestrial
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Southern America, Southern South America
Functional type: Land plant
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Date of first record: 1908

Distribution map

GB Distribution from BSBI

Author's name:

Sharon Pilkington

Last updated:

October 4th 2019

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Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark