Gunnera is a giant clump-forming perennial plant. It is also called Chilean rhubarb or Giant rhubarb. Though Gunnera and the Garden rhubarb (an edible vegetable) plant have some noticeable similarities and even similar culinary uses, they are completely unrelated, so no, Gunnera is not part of the rhubarb family.

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For more clarity, the two plants belong to two separate plant orders. While the Garden rhubarb plant belongs to the Caryophyllales order and the Polygonaceae family, Gunnera belongs to the Gunnerales order and the Gunneraceae family.

Is Gunnera Part Of The Rhubarb Family?

Is Gunnera Part Of The Rhubarb Family?

 We have a number of helpful articles about gunnera, and have a general Gunnera grow guide right here. Gunnera is non toxic, easy to over winter and can be grown in pots and tubs. Gunnera is easy to divide, but also pretty invasive

Differences between Gunnera and Rhubarb

Gunnera is much bigger than Rhubarb

  • Gunnera is one of the largest perennial plants in existence and can reach heights of 10 feet and sometimes as large as 14 feet. On the other hand, Garden rhubarb is only capable of reaching heights between 2 and 3 feet.

Gunnera and Rhubarb have different sized leaves

  • The leaves of gunnera are large, a singular leaf is as wide as 2.5 metres in diameter and has at least 8 palmate lobes. On the other hand, garden rhubarb leaves are small and barely up to a metre in diameter.
  • Gunnera leaves although not often eaten, are edible and can be used to prepare a Chilean dish called Curanto. Meanwhile, the leaves of the garden rhubarb are completely inedible and can also be toxic for consumption because they have high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides.

Summary – Is Gunnera the same as Rhubarb?

Although Gunnera and Rhubarb have some physical similarities when viewing them from a distance, they are not in any way related and should not be used interchangeably

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Last Modified: September 6, 2022