Giant rhubarb, Brazilian giant rhubarb, Dinosaur food
Gunnera manicata, commonly known as Giant Rhubarb or Dinosaur Food, is a remarkable perennial that captures attention with its impressive stature. Native to the moist forests of South America, this botanical giant can reach heights of more than 2.5 metres. Its massive, umbrella-like leaves span over 2 metres in diameter, creating a striking canopy. During the summer, tall flower spikes emerge, boasting dense clusters of small, reddish-green flowers. Flourishing in moist, acidic soils and full-sun or partial shade, Gunnera manicata makes a captivating addition to waterside landscapes and larger gardens. Its striking size and unique appearance make it a sought-after focal point, adding a tropical and dramatic flair to outdoor spaces.
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Care & Size Guidance
Caring for Gunnera manicata, or Giant Rhubarb, requires attention to its unique needs. Plant it in a location that offers full sun or partial shade and moist, well-draining soil. Regular watering is crucial, especially in drier periods, to replicate its native damp habitat. Apply mulch to help retain moisture and regulate soil temperature. The gigantic leaves can benefit from occasional misting to maintain humidity.
In colder climates, protect the plant’s crown with a thick layer of mulch during winter. Pruning is mainly limited to removing dead or damaged foliage. With its specific requirements met, Gunnera manicata can thrive, showcasing its colossal leaves and captivating presence in your garden.
This colossal plant has leaves spanning over 2 metres in diameter, creating a captivating canopy, it’s essential to provide the plant with optimal conditions for achieving its maximum leaf size. To encourage the growth of the largest leaves, ensure it’s planted in a location with ample moisture, ideally near a water source. Consistent watering, mulching to retain moisture, and maintaining adequate soil fertility can contribute to the development of its impressive foliage.
Read more about Gunnera manicata in our care guide.
Propagating Gunnera manicata
Gunnera manicata can be propagated through division. As the plant matures, it forms multiple crowns. You can carefully divide these crowns during the plant’s dormant period and replant them to create new plants.
Remember that Gunnera manicata can spread rapidly, so plan its location carefully to avoid overcrowding. With proper care, it can become a stunning focal point in a shaded garden or damp landscape.