Rhubarb (Rheum × hybridum) collections have been held at RHS Garden Wisley since 1904. The collection now includes more than 100 cultivars, including some of historical interest.
The entire collection is catalogued in the RHS Horticultural Database, and steady progress is being made in creating herbarium specimens. In addition, we are builting up a full photographic record of the collection, together with descriptions and drawings of stem cross-sections. This is providing valuable information to help in the identification of cultivars.
Close liaison is maintained with the Society's other collection of rhubarb, held by RHS Garden Harlow Carr in North Yorkshire, and exchanges of material benefit both collections.
The collection at Harlow Carr of more than 130 taxa includes wild Asian species, medicinal and decorative species such as Rheum palmatum and Victorian culinary favourites like 'Prince Albert' and 'Victoria'. It also includes newer introductions, such as those bred at the former Stockbridge House research station (now the Stockbridge Technology Centre) near Selby, Yorkshire. This collection will conserve a part of the West Riding's vanishing heritage of rhubarb cultivation.