Rhubarb gone to seed, Lancaster
Close-up of flowers - 6 tepals and 9 stamens
Fruiting spikes with achenes
Rhubarb crop with edible leaf stems
Rheum palmatum x rhaponticum = R. x hybridum
April to July
It is grown as crop everywhere and the escape is scattered
throughout the country.
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
It is neophyte which has been grown in the UK since the 1570s.
It was originally used as a herbal medicine before being grown
for its leaf stalks in the 1900s.
It has been recorded as an escape in the last 60 years and is
found in relic gardens, on waste land and on river banks.
It is spread by fragments of rhizomes which may be purposely
Rhubarb is a large, rhizomatous, perennial herb growing up to
The flowers are in tall leafless spikes (pannicles)
Individual flowers are made up of 6 creamy, petaloid tepals.
There are 9 cream-coloured stamens and 3 capitate stigmas.
Fruits are achenes, which are 3-angled and with 3 membranous
The leaves are large and have long, green to red, stalks.
It is the leaf stalks (petioles) which are eaten.
In gardens it is not normally desirable for Rhubarb to bolt
i.e., go to seed.
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