Giant Chilean Rhubarb

Giant Chilean Rhubarb

Marvellously massive.

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The amazing, architectural foliage perfect for a moist, part shade spot in the garden. These awesome, textured , upright leaves can grow up to 4m! They unfurl their gorgeousness on spiny stems of up to 2.5m. The leaves have a rough, leathery texture and grow to over a metre across. The happier it is, the bigger the leaves will be! This is sure to be an attraction in the garden.
Gunner tinctoria differs from Gunner manicata in that the leaves are more funnel shaped, the stems redder with less spines and the flowers are more compact and red. The spines are quite blunt, though look rather dangerous.
The flower spikes look like a red Euphorbia flower and open under the leaves. In summer, little, red green flowers open abundantly on conical panicles of around a metre and are followed by ornamental, round orange fruits which the birds adore. The branches from it are around 10cm each and covered in seeds.
They aren’t remotely connected to the Rhubarb family, but look very similar in growth, hence the common name. Endemic to Chile, where the young leaf stalks are occasionally eaten raw or cooked though it isn’t exactly delicious. The roots used as a dye and leaves for rooves. Gunnera have their own family, Gunneraceae.
They hail from Cool to Temperate swamplands in Chile and won’t endure humidity or too much heat. Water well, those leaves are big and like to be hydrated. With a good supply of water, it will also establish faster and look its best sooner (they can take a couple of years to reach potential). It needs good light but not too much afternoon sun, you want them to stretch towards it and grow big so they can capture it. Bog gardens, pond edges or dams are great spots for these beauties.
Plant into humus rich, moist soil in a spot that doesn’t get too many drying winds. It becomes frost tolerant, but while it establishes a winter mulch may be a good idea. Protect new growth from slugs and snails. The enormous volume of foliage will gradually settle into a winter dormancy as the frosts settle in, with the resting buds remaining visible. Come spring with amazing efficiency it is back and better than ever with fast and furious growth.

Supplied as: Pots
Size: 7.5 cm



Botantical name

Gunnera tinctoria








Cool to Temperate


Australia wide

Frost hardiness

Half Hardy


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Supplied as



7.5 cm

Water needs