Giant-rhubarb - Gunnera tinctoria

    Description

    A plant bearing huge, rhubarb-like, lobed leaves that have jagged margins, and which die down in autumn. The top and underside of the leaf have stiff bristles, whilst the leaf stalks are red or purplish (except on very young plants) and are covered in thin green bristles. On this species there are no spines on the veins beneath the leaves. The flowering spike is erect, compact, and red- crimson.  The inflorescence is like a cone or cylinder.  It’s three or four times longer than it is wide.  There can be up to four spikes per plant.  The flowers are borne close to the central stem and are green flushed crimson; they are stalk-less. The flowering spike is erect, compact, and red-crimson.  The inflorescence is like a cone or cylinder.  It’s three or four times longer than it is wide.  There can be up to four spikes per plant.  

    Similar Species

    Similar to Gunnera manicata.  Gunnera tinctoria has more rounded, deeply lobed leaves than Gunnera manicata, while its leaf stalks are shorter. The flowering spike of Gunnera tinctoria is shorter and its individual spikes smaller and less open than those of Gunnera manicata.

    Identification difficulty
    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.

    Habitat

    Often found in damper areas, stream-sides, coastal cliffs, waterways, roadsides, wet meadows etc.

    When to see it

    Flowering June to August.

    Life History

    Perennial.

    UK Status

    Gunnera tinctoria is considered an invasive plant in parts of the British Isles.

    VC55 Status

    Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland, the first record in our area coming from Bitteswell in 1997.

    Further Information

    http://palmvrienden.net/gblapalmeraie/2017/07/07/gunnera-manicata-how-to-recognize-the-real-one/  

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map