Gunnera manicata (Brazilian Rhubarb) is probably the biggest herbaceous plant on the planet, massive spiny rhubarb leaves up to 2.4 metres across are thrown up every year before dying back to the hairy crown in winter. The flower candles contain many green fingers studded with tiny flowers, forming berries containing the seeds. Protect the crown with a deep straw mulch in cold winters. It does need plenty of space, at least 4 square metres per plant, and must be planted with the crown above maximum water level. It needs loads of water to support those huge leaves but will die if the crown is submerged. Bare root plants are young plants from 1 or 2 litre pots. Even bigger plants than those listed can be supplied, but these need to be sent on a pallet, please enquire for details. A great deal of the cost of the larger sizes relates to packing and shipping, they are much cheaper if collected, please enquire, we currently have four plants from 30L to 50L available (10th June 2022).
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IMPORTANT NOTE: Currently there is much debate in horticultural circles about the identification of Gunnera species. G tinctoria was banned from sale within the EU a few years ago and all the big Gunnera supplied since then should be G manicata. However, it has become apparent that there are many strains, possibly subspecies or even hybrids of Gunnera which make accurate identification almost impossible. We purchase our seedlings from a specialist nursery who really know what they are doing, but some of the plants we have grown and sold during the last couple of years have coloured leaves, buds and flower candles, leading to some customers concluding that they are G tinctoria. To the best of our knowledge, they are not. The internet is crammed with armchair experts who will tell you that G tinctoria has funnel shaped leaves and G manicata flatter leaves, but the fact is that they both have both; identification from leaves is almost impossible. Even the world experts at Kew are confused about this, as you will see if you Google the Kew online resource and look at the pictures of G manicata there. We continue to take this issue seriously and will always aim to supply correctly named plants.