Rheum rhabarbarum

Botanical Name: Rheum rhabarbarum

Common Name(s): Rhubarb



A perennial that is usually grown in the vegetable garden. Plant in a bed where it can grow undisturbed for at least three to four years. leaf stalks are longer if grown in semi-shade. Plants require rich, well-drained soil and cool winters. The leaf stalks are the edible part; always discard the actual leaf, as it is toxic. The stalks are stewed with sugar and used in desserts and pies.

Family: Polygonaceae

Synonym: Rheum rhaphonticum

Botanical Pronunciation: REE-um ra-BAR-buh-rum

Frost Sensitive
Non Indigenous
Full Sun
Moderate Watering
Pruning Required

Common Pests and Diseases

Aphids. Crown rot in warm and humid weather conditions.





Pluck the outside stalks from large plants with a sideways and downwards action to pull them away cleanly from the crown.

Interesting Info

After picking, cut the leaves from the stalks and safely dispose of the leaves, as they contain oxalic acid, which is poisonous.

Interesting Planting Ideas

Rhubarb can also be established by dividing mature crowns during winter.Plant crowns with about 50mm of soil covering them.


Feed with well-rotted manure and general fertilizer in early spring.To encourage leaf growth, remove flowering stems as they appear.Water regularly.



Planting Instructions

Plant in a bed where it can grow undisturbed for at least three to four years. Transplant well-established seedlings into rows 750mm apart.

Possible Problems

Poisonous Foliage

Recommended Varieties

‘Victoria’ is the only variety available in local seed catalogues.

Soil Conditions

Well drained , Enriched


The stalks are stewed with sugar and used in desserts and pies.

Uses:: Cullinary: yes | Medicinal: | Cultural: | Commercial: | Cosmetics: | Other Uses: | Part Used: Stem | Attracts: | Features:


Ten plants should yield enough stalks for a family of four.

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