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Useful Plants Series – Rhubarb

Rheum rhabarbarum

Rhubarb is a hardy perennial plant native to central Asia requiring no maintenance and provides an abundant harvest year after year. Great ground cover for planting along borders and under trees, in particular fruit trees. You can allow it to flower, this will attract a lot of beneficial insects and you can collect seeds later in the year.

Be aware the leafs are poisonous due to oxalic acid and so are the stalks after mid summer when the plant recedes all it’s energy back into the root mass for the winter. The best time to harvest is in spring and early summer. Don’t harvest for 2 year after planting and take less than 25 per cent of the stalks each year. However once established Rhubarb plants are known to give a steady return for many years to come, in some cases even decades.

Popular varieties include Victoria and Timperley Early. Our favorite is Glaskin perpetual as you can harvest it safely any time of the year.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rheum+rhaponticum