• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Gunnera manicata

Chilean rhubarb

Chilean rhubarb

© � RHS 1987

  • Other common names Chilean rhubarb
    giant rhubarb

    prickly rhubarb

    see more
  • Genus Gunnera may be evergreen or herbaceous rhizomatous perennials, and range from small creeping plants to very large with huge leaves. The flowers are small, borne in narrow panicles or spikes and may be followed by small berry-like fruits

  • Family Gunneraceae / Gunneraceae

  • Details G. manicata is a very robust herbaceous perennial, forming a spreading clump of lobed, rounded, rough-textured leaves with spiny stems 1-2m in width. Tiny red-brown flowers are borne in erect panicles to 1m in height

  • Plant range Brazil


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Clump-forming



  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing or East-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoisturePoorly-drained

  • SoilClay, Loam

  • pHNeutral, Acid, Alkaline


  • Ultimate height

    1.5-2.5 metres

  • Ultimate spread

    2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height

    5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in permanently moist, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Shelter from cold drying winds. Protect crowns by mulching during the winter months

Propagation Propagate by seed sown in gentle heat as soon as ripe, seed quickly loses viability. Propagate by cuttings of leafy, basal buds in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types Cottage & Informal Garden City & Courtyard Gardens Architectural

How to care

Pruning Cut back after flowering

Pests Generally pest free

Diseases Generally disease free

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