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RHEUM acuminatum

Image of Rheum acuminatum

Family

Polygonaceae

Botanical Name

RHEUM acuminatum

Plant Common Name

Himalayan Rhubarb

General Description

Pretty with green and red foliage and tall, irregular spikes of red flowers and red fruits, the ornamental rhubarb is a great addition to gardens with wet soils. An herbaceous perennial with a mounded habit, it is native of the higher-elevation forests of western China and the Himalayas.

The coarse-looking, heart-like leaves rise on purple-red stem from the roots. Each blade is medium to dark-green with prominent veins, and reddened on the underside. In midsummer, a tall stem rises well above the plant to display a mass of tiny red flowers that in a coarse, jagged spike. Bees pollinate the tiny blossoms, yielding small red fruits that ripen to brown. Often the foliage shows vivid red coloration in autumn if sunlight is adequate.

Grow this ornamental rhubarb in full sun to light shade and either soggy soils at the edges of water or in a moist upland soil that is rich in organic matter. If the leaves grow lacklustre in midsummer, thin them or cut them back to prompt fresh new growth. Use it as a massed edging along a stream or pond, in the background of a moist bed or border, or as accent in a bog garden or woodland planting

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To

    Central Asia, India, Nepal, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Red

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Purple, Burgundy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Container, Mixed Border, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No