Other plants with red stems include pokeweed (Phytolacca decandra, USDA zones 6 through 10) and poison hemlock (Conium maculatum, USDA zones 5 through 10). In. Fiber plants are indeed great at reducing cholesterol levels in the body, but I said earlier, more research is needed to prove the health claims of rhubarb. Also, you'll notice that skunk cabbage's stems do not have any color on them. Ingestion can lead to death. There are a lot of varieties of the rhubarb plant, but the most common one is the garden rhubarb that is used for culinary purposes. It is also called the monk rhubarb but is not the same as the garden rhubarb. It is also used in making herbal teas for the treatment of diarrhea, and for relieving symptoms of sore throat. As its name implies, skunk cabbage smells skunky. The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 2; T.H. Not all plants with a red stalk and sour taste are the original rhubarb, so you want to be careful when picking vegetables in your garden. This plant's leaves grow to an enormous size of around 6 feet tall, and the entire plant can reach more than 8 feet tall, according to Gardeners HQ. Birds, the wind and other animals can spread seeds to various areas of your yard or garden. You take a closer look at the plant and notice that it has the same leaves and stems, but you can swear that it is not the same rhubarb that you are used to. There are actually a lot of other plants that resemble rhubarb. To add an extra dose of confusion, some of these weeds include the word "rhubarb" in their common names. Unlike rhubarb, the stalks are taller and hollow. You'll know right away that you've selected the wrong plant because the red color in Swiss chard's stem continues all the way up into its leaf veins, whereas rhubarb's leaf veins remain green. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) produces fernlike leaves; to the untrained eye, the stalks resemble those of rhubarb. All Rights Reserved. In other words, if you get a good whiff of the plant and immediately regret it, it's not rhubarb. Fragrantica: Rhubarb – Sound, Flavor and Scent, Gardeners HQ: How to Grow Gunnera Plants in your Garden. Burdock, prickly rhubarb, skunk cabbage, pokeweed and poison hemlock are examples of weeds that can look like rhubarb. These biennial plants produce large, heart-shaped wavy leaves and tall reddish-colored stalks similar to rhubarb in USDA plant hardiness zones 2 through 10. Often referred to as the Greater Burdock, or Edible Burdock, this plant is also mistaken for the edible rhubarb. Rhubarb crowns are the portions of a rhubarb plant located under the ground's surface that consist of rhizomes and buds. If you see prickly burrs protruding from the top of the plant, it's not rhubarb. However, take care when handling an unknown plant because Mount Sinai notes that burdock can cause an allergic skin reaction in some individuals. Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum, USDA zones 3 through 7) produces sweet, crunchy stalks with a characteristic red color (most of the time), and you might be surprised to encounter this plant outside of your garden. Swiss chard, a perfectly edible garden vegetable, can also sometimes look like rhubarb. Exotic Looking Rhubarb Plants Fill a Garden Space If you have ever tried the dish before, you will notice the sour taste and wonder what is so particular about it. , it was discovered to have provided a positive result. Other ways you can use rhubarb as part of your cooking include soups, sauces, tarts, cocktails, crumbles, and rhubarb cocktails. If there's a coat of fuzz under the leaf, it's burdock, but if the underside of the leaf is smooth, it's rhubarb. Skunk cabbage grows in boggy or marshy areas, which is the first clue that you're not looking at rhubarb because rhubarb prefers well-draining soil. Picking Up Litters: Keeping Your Environment Clean. The leaves, however, contain a toxic amount of oxalic acid and are poisonous. If you are uncertain about the safety of the plant, you should ask your local gardener to be on the safe side. If the plant has not produced any buds or burrs yet and is under 4 feet tall, look at the underside of the leaves. There are other plants that look similar to rhubarb, but are toxic lookalike plants that are inedible. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) produces fernlike leaves; to the untrained eye, the stalks resemble those of rhubarb. Common burdock (Arctium minus), also known as wild rhubarb, is easily mistaken for rhubarb. Everett, Editor, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 8; T.H. Also known as the spinach rhubarb, this plant is often mistaken for the real deal. This huge plant is very popular in gardens, where it’s grown beside ponds and in damp, boggy areas. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Plants produce large wavy leaves on thick stalks, like rhubarb, but they grow much larger and have stalks with reddish, rubbery prickles. zerowastequest.com a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Fiber plants are indeed great at reducing cholesterol levels in the body, but I said earlier, more research is needed to prove the health claims of rhubarb. There are other plants that look similar to rhubarb, but are toxic lookalike plants that are inedible. She enjoys writing content that helps homeowners feel motivated and confident in handling projects around the home. Birds, the wind and other animals can spread seeds to various areas of your yard or garden. When rhubarb goes to seed, it produces white or red flowers, not burrs. The plants do well in winter weather, which is why they are not common in the Middle East and Africa, due to the absence of cold winters. The next step in distinguishing skunk cabbage from rhubarb is to break a stalk and smell it. However, common burdock is not edible. Prickly rhubarbs (Gunnera spp.) Organic Gardener: Why is my Rhubarb Green? On top of the stems are many branches with flowers that are red or purple. Everett, Editor, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 6; T.H. To prepare rhubarb for cooking, knowing what the plant looks like is a must.. Burdock (Arctium minus, USDA zones 4 through 10) is often mistaken for rhubarb thanks in part to its misleading common name: wild rhubarb. In the US and most parts of Europe, the plant is cooked as part of a dish and sweetened, while in Asia, it is used mainly for medicinal purposes. known as the wild rhubarb or desert ginseng, the plant is native to North America but is cultivated widely in other parts of the world. Stalks are often harvested and used in baking, and you can also grow rhubarb as edible landscape plant. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Don't eat gunnera-manicata. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Why Are the Leaves on My Rhubarb Plants Turning Bright Red? Usually this case of mistaken identity happens in the veggie garden, where you may not have labelled the beds clearly or some rogue seeds wound up in the wrong spot. If you see a plant that looks like rhubarb and you're not sure if it is, beware. Over the years, a lot of plants were mistakenly called the rhubarb due to similarities in their appearance. The root appears stout and yellow. The rhubarb is a herbaceous plant that is used in medicine to treat certain conditions. Burdock (Arctium minus, USDA zones 4 through 10) is often mistaken for rhubarb thanks in part to its misleading common name: wild rhubarb.
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