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Ornamental Rhubarb

Rheum palmatum 'var. tanguticum'

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Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum 'var. tanguticum') at Spruce It Up Garden Centre

Ornamental Rhubarb in bloom

Ornamental Rhubarb in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Ornamental Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum 'var. tanguticum') at Spruce It Up Garden Centre

Ornamental Rhubarb foliage

Ornamental Rhubarb foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  3 feet

Flower Height:  6 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3


An audacious plant with gigantic deeply divided dark green leaves that turn vivid red in the fall; plumes of the dark red to maroon flowers tower above the massive plants in summer

Ornamental Features

Ornamental Rhubarb features bold spikes of white flowers rising above the foliage from early to mid summer. Its attractive enormous serrated lobed leaves emerge deep purple in spring, turning green in colour with curious gray undersides throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Ornamental Rhubarb is an herbaceous perennial with a rigidly upright and towering form. Its wonderfully bold, coarse texture can be very effective in a balanced garden composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should be cut back in late fall in preparation for winter. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ornamental Rhubarb is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Vertical Accent
  • General Garden Use
  • Bog Gardens

Planting & Growing

Ornamental Rhubarb will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 6 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 3 feet. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Articulation  Garden  Bog 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Texture  Plant Form 
Ornamental Features