Rheum palmatum ‘Tanguticum’

Chinese rhubarb

Rheum palmatum ‘Tanguticum’, also known as Chinese rhubarb, is a stunning perennial prized for its large, palmately lobed leaves and vibrant red stems. Originating from western China and northern Tibet, this ornamental rhubarb cultivar adds dramatic flair to garden landscapes. In spring, it produces tall, airy panicles of small, greenish-white flowers, attracting pollinators.

‘Tanguticum’ thrives in fertile, well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. With its bold foliage and architectural presence, it is often used as a focal point in mixed borders or as a specimen plant.

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Origin: Cultivar or horticultural origin, species native to western China and northern Tibet
Genus: Rheum
Species / Cultivar: tanguticum 'Tanguticum'
Common Name: Chinese rhubarb
Synonym: Rheum tanguticum
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Fast
Expect to see prolific growth, especially during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun to Part Shade
Enjoys direct sun most of the day, but tolerant of fewer sunlit hours or light dappling.
Eventual Height: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
Will survive unprotected outdoors in most areas of the UK, even in the harshest winters.
Habit: Deciduous
Sheds all its foliage annually, so for a period of the year it will be without foliage.
Lifecycle: Perennial
This plant is persistant and does not die off after flowering. It will return each season indefinitely, if provided with suitable growing conditions.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Rheum palmatum, commonly known as Chinese rhubarb, thrives in fertile, well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. Regular watering, especially during dry spells, is crucial for optimal growth. This perennial herbaceous plant can reach impressive sizes, typically growing up to 1.5-2.5 metres in height and spreading over a similar width.

Adequate spacing between plants is essential to accommodate its vigorous growth habit. Routine pruning of flower stalks helps redirect energy into foliage development. With proper care, Chinese rhubarb adds a bold statement to garden landscapes and is equally at home in both exotic, tropical gardens as well as traditional herbaceous borders.


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