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Herbaceous Perennial

Rheum palmatum 'Rubrum'

A clump-forming perennial with scarlet new foliage, followed by large, purple-green lobed leaves up to 75cm long and panicles of deep red flowers that rise on 2m long stems in early summer, this ornamental rhubarb is an architectural plant that demands space

Synonyms
Rheum palmatum 'Flore Rubro'

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Neutral, Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red
Summer Red Green Purple
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Polygonaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
May cause severe discomfort if ingested. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Rheum are robust rhizomatous herbaceous perennials with large, simple or palmately lobed leaves and tall leafy stems bearing large panicles of tiny flowers

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Requires a fertile, moisture-retentive soil. Mulch in winter to help retain moisture

Propagation

Propagate by seed or division in Spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Deadhead spikes after flowering

Pests

Generally pest- free, but may be susceptible to blackfly (black aphids)

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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