It is a large, clump-forming herbaceous perennial growing to 2.5 m (8 ft) tall by 4 m (13 ft) or more. The leaves of Gunnera grow to an impressive size. Leaves with diameters well in excess of 4 ft (122 cm) are commonplace, with a spread of 10 ft (3 m) by 10 ft (3 m) on a mature plant. The underside of the leaf and the whole stalk have spikes on them. In early summer it bears tiny red-green flowers in conical branched panicles, followed by small, spherical fruit. However, it is primarily cultivated for its massive leaves.
This plant grows best in damp conditions e.g. by the side of garden ponds, but dislikes winter cold and wet.
Despite the common name, this plant is not closely related to rhubarb.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- "Gunnera manicata". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964.
- "Gunnera manicata AGM". RHS Plant Finder. Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Pink, A. (2004). Gardening for the Million. Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.
- Gunnera manicata
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