Fun and interesting facts about rhubarb.

A fresh new look at one of my most-visited posts at this time of year…scroll to the end of “Fun and Interesting Facts about Rhubarb” for a fun treat! And don’t forget to let me know your favourite rhubarb recipes!

Flowery Prose


The rhubarb in the community garden is absolutely monstrous this year – it shot up so quickly I barely had time to blink during the transition between fat sprouts to gargantuan wide leaves and thick, harvest-ready stalks.  I’m dreaming about the rhubarb cake I am going to bake….

Rhubarb gardeners will know most of these fun facts, but if you’re new to growing (or eating!) it, you might enjoy this little list of rhubarb trivia:

  • Rhubarb is in the Polygonaceae family, which includes buckwheat and sorrel.
  • Rhubarb’s binomial name is Rheum rhabarbarum – the specific epithet is from the Latin and means “root of the barbarians.”
  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, chock full of more oxalic acid than humans and animals may safely consume.  Small amounts of oxalic acid are found in the stalks, which we eat – the acidity gives rhubarb its “tang.”  (You’ll find small amounts of oxalic acid…

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  1. Rhubard does not need recipes. It just goes into a pie with sugar and that is it; isn’t it? I suppose it could go into a casserole with sugar and biscuits just as easily. I still grow the same rhubard that I got from my great grandfather when I was about five.

    • I’m with you re: the pie. But it makes a pretty fine cake, too…. 😉 I love that you’re still growing the rhubarb you received from your great-grandfather – that’s a priceless garden treasure.

      • That same rhubarb has gotten around! I gave some to my uncle years ago. I have not seen my cousin in years, but she had some of it in her garden in Oregon. I intend to send some to my Pa, as well as cuttings from a crabapple tree that he picked apples from with his mother when he was a little tyke. I happen to work on the property where they tree is located! I only recently learned that the tree was the same that my Pa was familiar with.

  2. I once read a story about Jason & the Argonauts sailing around trying to find the golden fleece.After several years of searching in vain,their supplies became thin.So they put into the mouth of a large river system.They found a plant their that gave them back their strength when brewed. Because they hadn’t found the Golden Fleece,they decided to bring back the plant.Better something rather than nothing I suppose.
    Upon arrival a year back in their home port they were ridiculed for not finding the Golden Fleece & when they showed the plant they were labelled Barbarians.
    The plant came from the mouth of the Rhu river & because they were Barbarians,they called the plant Rhubarb.

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