Gunnera is a herbaceous flowering plant from South America, also called Giant Chilean Rhubarb or Giant Brazilian Rhubarb. There are about 50 species but I think this one is G. manicata. The stems grow higher than a man; and the leaves form huge umbrella shapes when fully grown. In these photos, the plants were in the middle of a Spring burst of new growth with the big spiky-stemmed leaves beginning to unfold, and the small flowers already opening on tall cone-shaped structures close to the ground. There is a very primitive feel to the way this plant looks and it always makes a spectacular and fascinating show. The plants were photographed in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, UK.
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