Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Rhubarb, Chilean Gunnera, Chilean Rhubarb, Dinosaur Food
Gunnera tinctoria

Family: Gunneraceae
Genus: Gunnera (guh-NER-uh) (Info)
Species: tinctoria (tink-TOR-ee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Gunnera chilensis

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #1 of Gunnera tinctoria by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #2 of Gunnera tinctoria by kennedyh

By Happenstance
Thumbnail #3 of Gunnera tinctoria by Happenstance

By Happenstance
Thumbnail #4 of Gunnera tinctoria by Happenstance

By Calif_Sue
Thumbnail #5 of Gunnera tinctoria by Calif_Sue

By jinetts
Thumbnail #6 of Gunnera tinctoria by jinetts

By BetsyBug
Thumbnail #7 of Gunnera tinctoria by BetsyBug

There are a total of 33 photos.
Click here to view them all!


6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NWSeattleite On Jul 11, 2014, NWSeattleite from Seattle
United States wrote:

A fantastic plant for the area; always a crowd pleaser! Though the plant is cut down by freezing temperatures with some regularity, it's actually quite hardy, it resprouted vigorously after our recent 16 degree winter. A little tricky to propagate by division, but doable. I was pleasantly surprised this summer to discover it has spread by seed; I found five little guys growing a few yards away in what is probably a more ideal planting location. Looks like I'll never need to buy any more :)

Positive palmbob On Jul 1, 2008, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

love this massive plant, but can't grow it here in inland Southern California- just too hot for it. No idea how to tell this species from Gunnera manicata... seems most who uploaded photos don't either. The photos I uploaded for this one were identified as such by the botanical gardens, but who knows if they know the differences, either. If anyone does, that would be great to add to this site.

Positive delosfox On Feb 22, 2006, delosfox from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Does best in partial shade. Mine is wind protected, under a heavily pruned magnolia tree in a peaty, acid soil with lots of leaf mold and organic matter--no alkaline lawn fertilizers, please. I used this to fill a 4' by 6' planting hole and lined it with impermeable pond lining material. When planting it is vital that the root crown is above the soil level and not allowed to sit in standing water or wet soil, as it will ROT. It can get wet but must be allowed to dry off. The beast needs constant moisture and fertilizing. Miracle-Gro is an ineffectual waste of money, and manure--while traditional--wasn't for me. I found that the best way is to use the Laguna 16-9-12 once-a-year fertilizer pond spikes recommended for aquatic plants like water lilies. They're ventilated plastic tubes with fertilizer crystals that feed for up to a year. I place three around the plant during the growing season and take them out before the first frost. More might be better as the plant grows; since they're time released it shouldn't pose a hazard. Less than $15 buys you three spikes that will last you two growing seasons--nothing to do but refill the bog and enjoy. Before the first frost (Halloween for me) I cut the leaves and stems off cleanly and place them upside down over the root crown. A snap-together 1.5' section of large metal ducting or open-topped barrel section is placed around the crown and filled with leaves for winter insulation that will breathe but not blow away. Replace leaves as needed to keep your plant protected. After the last frost, uncover your beauty, add the spikes and water, and watch it grow! In the past two years my plant has doubled in size with no end in sight. I suppose I should water it more often. Copper tape around the stems controls snail and slug damage. Overhead and underside spraying of the leaves helps to dislodge spit bugs and other insects that suck the juices and cause brown spots. Tobacco water or mild soaps can be quite effective, too. Have fun with this one and don't be afraid! They're a lot of fun and you'll want more than one. Actually it's divided twice already with this regimen, so I already have!

Positive StarGazey26 On Aug 2, 2005, StarGazey26 from (Zone 10a) wrote:

I love this plant! It is a nice conversation piece, and very easy to grow.. It can also be grown in containers! It does need alot of water, dont let it dry out, fertalize it with a complete fertalizer every other month, to get maximum leaf size! Kinda fast grower. Very nice mixed in with ground cover. I have mine in part sun, and he is doing well, he is also in a pot! Have seen these with leaves up to 8 feet long by 7 feet wide, very very attractive!

Positive Ursula On Jan 17, 2005, Ursula from Santiago
Chile (Zone 9b) wrote:

The popular names for this Chilean native plant are Nalca and Pangue. Its natural habitat is on damp or boggy, shady places, always close to water.

It is an herbaceous perennial with rhizomes and reaches 2 to 3 m height. This plant requires full or partial shade, although it can grow with some sun in which case it will not reach its full size.

The leaf-stems are edible. They are mainly consumed as salad ('peeling' the stems like cellery, and cutting in small pices). They have a very nice sour taste.

Propagation: either by division of rhyzomes in early spring or from seeds (stratified) in Autumn, using a mix of 1 portion regular garden soil, one portion compost and one portion previously soaked (24 hours) peat, plus 1/2 portion river sand.

Positive wnstarr On Jul 24, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Grows here in the Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Great exotic looking plant, requires lots of water. Will love being planted next to a pond or stream. Will die back to the ground here in the winter, but will quickly be the beauty it is again the next year. Leaves are massive, course textured. Very interesting plant in the landscape.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Calistoga, California
Clayton, California
Crescent City, California
Emerald Lake Hills, California
Fairfield, California
Fullerton, California
Oceanside, California
San Leandro, California
Solvang, California
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Portland, Oregon
Conway, South Carolina
Artondale, Washington
Belfair, Washington (2 reports)
Bellingham, Washington (2 reports)
Cathcart, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Quilcene, Washington
Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America