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Rheum nobile

Rheum nobile

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Ornamental rhubarb are large, architectural plants; foliage, colors, and flower spires are all dramatic. Grow them in sun or part shade on moist but well-drained soil; roots should be mulched to keep cool in summer.

Noble rhubarb is a giant perennial native to the alpine tundra of the Himalayas. It is by far the weirdest plant we grow. We find it absolutely fascinating, but do not recommend it for garden merit.

This plant grows at extreme elevations and has had to make some serious adaptions to survive. Most strikingly, it forms its own greenhouse! Flowers and fruits are hidden inside a 6' spire of translucent, UV filtering bracts where they are protected from the elements and remain at least 10 degrees warmer than the temperatures outside.

In all honesty, we don't know how this super rare plant will cope with US climates. Our seedlings are growing vigorously and we are excited to learn what comes next. Try this plant if you feel like an experiment.

Zones: 4 to 7

Family: Polygonaceae

Type: Perennial

Height: 48 to 60 in.

Spread: 36 to 42 in.

Exposure: full sun

Soil Conditions: moist

Bloom Time: June to August

Bloom Color: yellow-ochre

Native Range: the Himalayas

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