Gunnera tinctoria

Gunnera tinctoria

Giant rhubarb

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Gunnera tinctoria
  • Common name: Giant rhubarb
  • Family: Gunneraceae
  • Plant Type: Bog, Marginal, Perennial, Pond, Deciduous
Flower colour:

Red

Foliage colour:

Green

Like Gunnera manicata, Gunnera tinctoria is a spectacular architectural, herbaceous plant, bearing huge, rhubarb-like leaves which die down in autumn. It needs a lot of space and looks best grown as a specimen plant in a bog garden or at the pond edge, where the reflections from the water reveal the prickly undersides of its leaves.

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Gunnera tinctoria has more rounded, deeply lobed leaves than Gunnera manicata, while its leaf stalks are shorter. The flowering spike of Gunnera tinctoria is shorter and its individual spikes smaller and less open than those of Gunnera manicata.

Grow Gunnera tinctoria in moist, humus-rich soil in a sheltered spot in full sun to partial shade. Its fat growth buds clustered in the crown are prone to frost damage, so pile the dead leaves and stems into a mound over the plants in autumn for winter protection – they make quite a feature of their own.

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Gunnera tinctoria is considered an invasive plant in parts of the British Isles.

How to grow Gunnera tinctoria

  • Plant size

    1.5m height

    2.5m spread

  • Aspect

    South facing, west facing

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Frost hardy
  • Soil type: Boggy / clay / heavy / moist

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do not Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Take cuttings
Take cuttings

Do not Take cuttings in January

Do not Take cuttings in February

Do Take cuttings in March

Do Take cuttings in April

Do Take cuttings in May

Do not Take cuttings in June

Do not Take cuttings in July

Do not Take cuttings in August

Do not Take cuttings in September

Do not Take cuttings in October

Do not Take cuttings in November

Do not Take cuttings in December

Collect seeds
Collect seeds

Do not Collect seeds in January

Do not Collect seeds in February

Do not Collect seeds in March

Do not Collect seeds in April

Do not Collect seeds in May

Do not Collect seeds in June

Do not Collect seeds in July

Do not Collect seeds in August

Do not Collect seeds in September

Do Collect seeds in October

Do Collect seeds in November

Do not Collect seeds in December

Gunnera tinctoria and wildlife

Gunnera tinctoria has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Gunnera tinctoria poisonous?

Gunnera tinctoria has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People

Plants that go well with Gunnera tinctoria

91171
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Candelabra primula
Lythrum salicaria
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Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife