• Overview
    Light Needs:
    Partial shade to partial sun
    Watering Needs:
    Needs wet or constantly moist soil.
    Average Landscape Size:
    Huge leaves form a fast-growing clump 8 ft. tall and wide.
    Key Feature:
    Dramatic Foliage
    Blooms:
    Summer
  • Detail
    Plant type:Perennial
    Deciduous/evergreen:Deciduous
    Growth habit:Round
    Growth rate:Fast
    Average landscape size:Huge leaves form a fast-growing clump 8 ft. tall and wide.
    Special features:Year-round Interest
    Foliage color:Green
    Blooms:Summer
    Flower color:Green
    Flower attributesShowy Flowers
    Design IdeasThe large, dramatic foliage makes a spectacular focal point for a tropical or eclectic garden, where it adds an exotic, primeval look. Place at the edge of ponds, streams, or in a boggy part of the garden where little else will grow, and where it's large leaves will add exceptional texture and proportion.
  • Care
    Care Information
    Prefers rich, well-drained soil and cool summer climates. Water regularly to maintain damp soil. Prune to six inches from ground annually to rejuvenate; use care to avoid spines. Protect the crown with pruned leaf stalks or mulch before thread of frost, to protect through winter. Feed with a controlled release fertilizer when new growth begins in spring.
    Light Needs:
    <strong>Partial Sun / Partial Shade</strong>: These two terms are often used interchangeably to mean 3-6 (or 4-6) hours of sunlight each day. However, there is a difference.
<strong>Partial shade</strong> typically means the plants will appreciate a more gentle exposure such as the weaker morning or early afternoon sun, with the emphasis on providing the minimum needed shade and sheltering from intense late afternoon sun. <strong>Partial sun</strong> typically means the plants <u>need</u> some direct sun, so the emphasis is on meeting the required minimum hours of sunlight, with filtered sunlight or shade the balance of the day.
Both are best with shelter from the harshest late afternoon sun. This shade could be provided by a structure, a wall, larger plants or  tree(s).
    Partial shade to partial sun
    Watering Needs:
    Water needs: High
    Needs wet or constantly moist soil.
  • History & Lore
    History:
    A native of the cloud forests of Central and South America, specifically southern Chile and neighboring zones in Argentina. Brought to Monrovia by plant explorer Dan Hinkley, collected in Chile.
    Lore:
    In it's native cloud forest habitat, Gunnera tinctoria takes root nearly anywhere the soil has been disturbed. Its natural armor protects it from foraging animals. In South America, particularly Chile, the young leaf stalks are peeled and cooked or eaten raw. The taste is described as acidic and refreshing. Stems are also processed into preserves and liquor, and the juice is used as an astringent. Its roots are used as a black dye. The leaves are used to cover cooking pots and as roofing material in rural areas. Outside of South America, Gunnera tinctoria is primarily used as a distinctive landscape plant.

Videos

YouTube Video
Chilean Prickly Rhubarb (1:32)
In his Pacific Northwest garden, plant explorer Dan Hinkley talks about an intriguing species from southern Chile, Gunnera tinctoria, also...
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