Gunnera leaf opening in Spring

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.

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Gunnera sp. leaf stem in Spring

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Leaf ribs and veins viewed from the underside of an unfolding Gunnera leaf

Gunnera flowers - Giant South American Rhubarb.

Gunnera plants, Giant South American Rhubarb, growing on the lakeside at Kew.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

6 Replies to “New Growth in Gunnera”

  1. It’s really strange this year – the weather, that is. Devon and Dorset are normally warmer than the rest of the country at this time of year but right now it’s London that is in full Spring mode while we still freeze in the sun. You must have a big garden if you grow Gunnera.

    Like

  2. I had forgotten all about Triffids. There is a remarkable resemblance. I would hate for these things to uproot themselves when fully-formed and chase me down the street.

    Like

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