Alphabetical Plant Listing

Gunnera manicata (Giant Rhubarb)

Giant Rhubarb, Chilean Rhubarb, Prickly Rhubarb


A very architectural plant, Gunnera manicata (Giant Rhubarb) is a large, herbaceous clump-forming perennial grown primarily for its gigantic, round to kidney-shaped, deep green leaves, up to 6 ft. across (180 cm). The leaves are palmately lobed, prominently-veined, sharply toothed and sit atop prickly stalks that extend to 10 ft. tall (3 m). In summer, Giant Rhubarb produces large, conical panicles of tiny reddish-green florets, up to 3-6 ft. high (90-180 cm). Gunnera manicata's large size and distinctive leaves makes it attractive to gardeners and it is widely planted for ornamental reasons. A dramatic accent plant for wet areas of the landscape. Give it lots of space.

  • Grows up to 6-10 ft. high (180-300 cm) and 8-14 ft. wide (240-420 cm).
  • Performs best in permanently moist, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Shelter from cold drying winds. Protect crowns by mulching during the winter months. Appreciates part shade in hot summer climates. Tolerant of salt spray and is often grown near permanent water sources in areas with low rainfall.
  • Easy to grow, Giant Rhubarb is a welcomed addition to city gardens, cottage gardens, bog gardens or rain gardens.
  • Propagate by seed sown in gentle heat as soon as ripe, seed quickly loses viability. Propagate by cuttings of leafy, basal buds in spring.
  • Remove damaged or dead leaves as they appear. Cut back after flowering.
  • Virtually disease and pest free. Keep an eye out for slugs and scale.
  • Native to Brazil.
  • This plant is listed on Schedule 3 of the EU (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 in the Republic of Ireland as an invasive non-native species.

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Heat Zones 7 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spread 8' – 14' (240cm – 4.3m)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Salt, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage

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Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Heat Zones 7 – 11
Climate Zones 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 6' – 10' (180cm – 3m)
Spread 8' – 14' (240cm – 4.3m)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Tolerance Salt, Wet Soil
Garden Uses Bog Gardens, Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage

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