This is one of the reasons it’s often paired with sweeter fruits, like strawberry. They look like rhubarb because of the familiar shapes of the leaves, the stem is somewhat similar, but these plants are NOT rhubarb. Based in Indiana, Molly Allman holds a B.A. There are other plants that look similar to rhubarb, but are toxic lookalike plants that are inedible. It’s mostly used in pies and desserts, but it’s only the stalks of the plant that we eat – and there’s a reason for that. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit. It is a herbaceous perennial plant in the family Polygonaceae. The ruffled green leaves are less famous than the tart stalks. Nor does letting rhubarb bloom weaken the plant. Rhubarb stalks are famous for their bright pink color, as pictured above, but they can also be light pink and even pale green. Burdock can grow up to 6 feet tall, whereas rhubarb stays under 4 feet. Copper fungicides are effective for control. Responsible dog ownership means keeping our dogs safe. Here’s how to plant, grow, and harvest your own rhubarb. This plant’s leaves are poisonous. Burdock, prickly rhubarb, skunk cabbage, pokeweed and poison hemlock are examples of weeds that can look like rhubarb. Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has a long crimson of light green stalks. She specializes in topics concerning health, crafts, family and lifestyles. Rhubarb leaves are considered inedible due to their high concentration of oxalic acid. Click below on a thumbnail map or name for species profiles. It's considered toxic and has a diuretic effect on those who consume it. The leaves are poisonous, but the stalk is not. If you see a plant that looks like rhubarb and you're not sure if it is, beware. There are actually a lot of other plants that resemble rhubarb. we dont see many birds in the … The plant produces thick, red solid stalks that can grow up to 5 feet tall, topped with large, elongated, heart-shaped leaves. ... Rhubarb, which has edible stems and poisonous leaves is a common example. I know, I just said the tomato isn’t poisonous. Four easy methods exist for differentiating rhubarb and burdock weed. In other words, if you get a good whiff of the plant and immediately regret it, it's not rhubarb. Giant Rhubarb Protects A Shoreline. One of the most iconic spring fruits (well, technically it’s a vegetable, but we use it like a fruit) is rhubarb. You can tell common burdock from rhubarb by its hollow stalks, fuzziness on the undersides of leaves and its height -- it grows up to 6 feet tall. The mature leaves of Burdock are less curly than rhubarb, and the undersides of the leaves are "wooly" or "hairy", unlike rhubarb. Rhubarb stalks can become poisonous when Mother Nature decides to drop her temperatures below freezing after their leaves have emerged. Saved from rhubarbinfo.com. They have purple spots on the stems, unlike the red-colored stalks of rhubarb. ... its large dark green leaves look a bit like spinach and are not usually eaten due to fears about them being poisonous or inedible. Some can make your children and pets quite sick. People are regularly poisoned by eating its seeds. Any stalks with wilted leaves after a cold spell should always be cut from the plant, and never consumed because frost can cause the substance that makes rhubarb leaves toxic to travel down the stalk. 1 Select three or four large rhubarb leaves that weren't sprayed with chemicals. How to Eat Rhubarb Raw. There is an old wives tale that says rhubarb that has frozen is poisonous and that you should destroy or dig up your plants to stay safe. Tomato. Think Granny Smith apple sour! Birds, the wind and other animals can spread seeds to various areas of your yard or garden. Polygonaceae – Buckwheat family. Burdock plants (weeds) can grow to … Rhubarb actually comes in several colors, including pink and speckled rhubarb varieties. The root and rhizome of the plant are okay to ingest, however, and have been used as a medicinal plant in Asia — where it is native — for around 5,000 years, if not longer. After all, there’s a lot to love: warm temperatures, blooming plants and—my personal favorite—spring produce. Burdock (Arctium minus, USDA zones 4 through 10) is often mistaken for rhubarb thanks in part to its misleading common name: wild rhubarb. Common burdock (Arctium minus), also known as wild rhubarb, is easily mistaken for rhubarb. The stalks of Burdock are hollow, while the stalks of rhubarb are solid. Historically, different plants have been called "rhubarb" in English. Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) produces fernlike leaves; to the untrained eye, the stalks resemble those of rhubarb. Gunnera manicata is one of the biggest and most spectacular architectural, herbaceous plants, commonly known as ‘giant rhubarb‘. Never eat them. Finally, one other plant gets mistaken for rhubarb due to its common name: prickly rhubarb (Gunnera manicata, USDA zones 7 through 10) or giant rhubarb. Field-grown rhubarb will shortly be coming into season and appearing in supermarkets in the UK, so it seems like a good time to take a look at the chemistry behind this odd-looking vegetable. Oxalic acid, like other organic acids, are not readily absorbed by plant roots. Height can also immediately tell you that a plant is not rhubarb. A plant, (Rheum rhaponticum), whose appearance is somewhat like rhubarb. I have some plants that look a lot like rhubarb growing in my back yard. Common burdock (Arctium minus), also known as wild rhubarb, is easily mistaken for rhubarb. are perennial plants that include giant rhubarb (Gunnera manicata) and grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9. It needs a lot of space and looks best grown as a specimen plant in a bog garden or at the pond edge, where the reflections from the water reveal the prickly undersides of its leaves. Rhubarb is a thick, celery-like plant with red stalks that can grow to be more than two feet long. Instead, there are hundreds of such flowers, like deadly nightshade that look so beautiful but hides poison inside them. These plants are well-suited for growing in waterside areas, such as lakes, ponds and bogs, but unlike rhubarb, they are inedible. Best known as an ingredient in pies and tarts, rhubarb is a perennial with edible celery-like stalks. 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. The leaves contain high concentrations of oxalic acid and should not be eaten. Rhubarb is a plant that enjoys cold climates and is found in mountainous and temperate areas of the world like Northeast Asia. These plants are well-suited for growing in waterside areas, such as lakes, ponds and bogs, but unlike rhubarb, they are inedible. Best known as an ingredient in pies and tarts, rhubarb is a perennial with edible celery-like stalks. The stalks are the only edible part of the plant; in fact, the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. in professional writing. While they're both high in antioxidants, they promote health in different areas of your body. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. What Does Rhubarb Look Like? Asked By: Evangelos Bocker | Last Updated: 24th February, 2020. Try to keep good air circulation around them as well. Giant Rhubarb Protects A Shoreline. Swiss chard, a perfectly edible … Way poisonous. Category: food and drink desserts and baking. Unlike rhubarb, the stalks are taller and hollow. However, the leaves are high in oxalic acid, which can cause kidney problems. They contain a poisonous … Thank you very much! Poison hemlock's stem will have purple spots or streaks, and its white lacy flowers will also help give away its identity. There are other plants that look similar to rhubarb, but are toxic lookalike plants that are inedible. As soon as you harvest the stalks, cut the leaves off and throw them away where neither human nor beast can get to them. The leaves contain high concentrations of oxalic acid and should not be eaten. The Rhubarb is poisonous for both cats and dogs. Prickly rhubarbs (Gunnera spp.) Heirloom. Large ruffled green leaves top these stalks. Large ruffled green leaves top these stalks. All Rights Reserved. Let’s take a closer look at the situation. Unlike rhubarb, the stalks are taller and hollow. It seems like every year we have a week or so of really nice temperatures that allow the rhubarb plants to grow vigorously. Stalks are often harvested and … Prickly rhubarbs (Gunnera spp.) Saved by Chandra Orrill. There are a lot of differences between burdock versus rhubarb. The whole plant – a herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes – is also called rhubarb. Rhubarb. She specializes in topics concerning health, crafts, family and lifestyles. At the very least create a barrier between your dog and the toxic plant in question and that way you can both enjoy the yard together. 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. A mature rhubarb plant can have a spread of 2 to 3 feet (61 to 91 centimeters) in all directions. You can distinguish this poisonous plant from rhubarb by looking at the stalks. She graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a Bachelor's degree in English. By choosing crowns, which are a fleshy bundle of roots, you can be enjoying your rhubarb a year sooner. Some poisonous plants of Tennessee. It is … What is false rhubarb? Burdock plants (weeds) can grow to a height of 6 feet, unlike rhubarb plants. Let’s take a closer look at the situation. The stalks (that is, the edible part) of a rhubarb plant can grow 2 to 3 feet (61 to 91 centimeters) tall on a mature plant. 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. Apr 10, 2012 - Plants that aren't rhubarb, but look like it. The color is not an indication of ripeness or sweetness, like it is with other fruits. To learn more about this vibrant vegetable, look through our rhubarb guide. The beautiful but poisonous flowers mentioned above are not exhaustive. If you see prickly burrs protruding from the top of the plant, it's not rhubarb. By late winter to spring the plants will resume rapid growth. While rhubarb is sometimes eaten raw with sugar sprinkled on it, most uses for this plant are in recipes where its tart flavor is a unique addition. I have a plant at our new home which I initially thought was rhubarb, but it has since sprouted very tall stalks . I have pellets down for slugs etc etc no visible sign of anything at all. Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable famous for its tart-flavored pinkish-green stalks, though it’s used as a sweetened fruit in pies, tarts, and jams. Are Vegetable Plants Poisonous to Animals? Burdock is an biennial plant that reporduces by seed. The beautiful but poisonous flowers mentioned above are not exhaustive. ... a common pest weed in agricultural areas, roadsides, and waste places. See those leaves below? This is the time when harvest may begin. The principal toxic element in rhubarb leaves is oxalic acid (C 2 H 2 O 4), a product that is toxic to mammals, birds and some insects if it is ingested in large quantities. 4.3/5 (150 Views . Finally, you can cut into the red stem for a tried-and-true identification method: Burdock has a hollow stem, whereas rhubarb does not. Exotic Looking Rhubarb Plants Fill a Garden Space Weeds That Look Like Rhubarb: How Can I Identify Them? Everett, Editor, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 8; T.H. Another weed commonly confused for rhubarb is skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus, USDA zones 3 through 7). You can pull it out or treat it with glyphosate (Round-up is one brand). According to the perfume encyclopedia Fragrantica, rhubarb smells a lot like it tastes: sweet, fruity and fresh. They look like rhubarb because of the familiar shapes of the leaves, the stem is somewhat similar, but these plants are NOT rhubarb. Plants produce large wavy leaves on thick stalks, like rhubarb, but they grow much larger and have stalks with reddish, rubbery prickles. ... remove the toxic leaves. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Botrytis cinerea is a fungus that overwinters on rhubarb plants. How Big Do Rhubarb Plants Get? Don't eat gunnera-manicata. In its raw state, the “pie plant” is pretty sour. Burdock, prickly rhubarb, skunk cabbage, pokeweed and poison hemlock are examples of weeds that can look like rhubarb. Its large leaves bear a resemblance to rhubarb, and it has red stems that grow from a central area in the ground like rhubarb as well. For this reason, they are typically snipped off or discarded. Her fiction writing appears in "Bewildering Stories," "The Other Herald" and "Spectacular Speculations.". Instead, there are hundreds of such flowers, like deadly nightshade that look so beautiful but hides poison inside them. These invasive, weedy plants thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 10. See those leaves below? And that’s why rhubarb plants produce oxalic acid: to help protect them from their enemies. Leaves are like huge canopies over a thick rhubarby stem with teeny weeny prickles. While rhubarb stalks are edible and often used in baking and other dishes, rhubarb leaves are poisonous because they contain soluble oxalic acid salts. The fruit isn’t, but the leaves, roots, and stem … Things that are not rhubarb | The Rhubarb Compendium. A sure sign of spring at AnswerLine are the calls from people concerned about the safety of their rhubarb plants. Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that has a long crimson of light green stalks. She enjoys writing content that helps homeowners feel motivated and confident in handling projects around the home. Yellow Star Fruit. She had heard that a new invasive weed has been popping up that is quite dangerous. For example, the sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) looks like English peas when growing and blooming, but the peas -- the plant's seeds -- are toxic. The fleshy, edible stalks of other species and hybrids (culinary rhubarb) were cooked and used for food. Plant grows white, spikelike flower clusters, which are insignificant. Rhubarb is popular in pies, jams, jellies, and compotes. Organic Gardener: Why is my Rhubarb Green? Skunk cabbage has spade-shaped leaves that grow from a central rosette, just like rhubarb, but its leaves (and growth habit in general) stay on the smaller side. To learn more about this vibrant vegetable, look through our rhubarb guide. You likely won't have any trouble recognizing it as not being rhubarb thanks to that one characteristic, but the name could lead to mishaps when ordering plants. Rhubarb can be mistaken for other plants that have a colored stem. Stems can grow 5 to 8 feet long and leaves 6 to 10 feet across. What is rhubarb? Then the temperatures take a dive and we have a frost or freezing weather. The next step in distinguishing skunk cabbage from rhubarb is to break a stalk and smell it. As its name implies, skunk cabbage smells skunky. Ingestion can lead to death. There are a few inedible weeds that look like rhubarb that could make you sick if you mistakenly eat them. Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is an easy-to-grow perennial plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 though 8. You may, however, want to remove the flower stalk after the blooms fade to prevent any seeds from maturing, as they can result in an abundance of unwanted, self-sown baby rhubarb plants. Rhubarb is a thick, celery-like plant with red stalks that can grow to be more than two feet long. Typical symptoms include kidney failure, oral irritation, salivation, tremors and vomiting. It seems like every year we have a week or so of really nice temperatures that allow the rhubarb plants to grow vigorously. Although the leaves and roots are poisonous, the stems are commonly used as the base for many desserts. So oxalic acid can be a problem; perhaps the level in rhubarb is enough to cause the tart flavor but not enough to cause medical issues. Some can make your children and pets quite sick. is used in medicine to treat certain conditions. Don't eat gunnera-manicata. Knowing what this plant looks like is very important because it is very deadly. Burdock, prickly rhubarb, skunk cabbage, pokeweed and poison hemlock are examples of weeds that can look like rhubarb. And that’s why rhubarb plants produce oxalic acid: to help protect them from their enemies. Burdock is not poisonous. Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid, which is a nephrotoxic acid that is present in many plants.. Swiss chard, a perfectly edible garden vegetable, can also sometimes look like rhubarb. Oxalic acid. However, unlike rhubarb, this plant is considered an invasive weed and it can easily thrive in your garden. One of them, Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris cicla), is perfectly edible. Manchineel. She works as both a writer and author and enjoys writing articles on many different topics. (I am renting a house) I have never grown rhubarb myself and so I did some research on the internet and found that there is poisonous rhubarb which is kin to the edible kind. This tree may resemble that of an apple tree, but … The bottom plant, which looks very much like fuzzy rhubarb, is burdock (http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/weed/broadleaf/basal/cburdock.html). Rhubarb is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 8. Never eat them. In plants that have high amounts, such as some of the aroids like dieffenbachia, if a person or pet chews on the plant, crystals become lodged in the throat causing it to swell, and resulting in possible suffocation. The stalks are the only edible part of the plant; in fact, the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. One of the most iconic spring fruits (well, technically it’s a vegetable, but we use it like a fruit) is rhubarb. Fragrantica: Rhubarb – Sound, Flavor and Scent, Gardeners HQ: How to Grow Gunnera Plants in your Garden. So, yeah, stick to the stalk. Apr 10, 2012 - Plants that aren't rhubarb, but look like it. How to Eat Rhubarb Raw. Consuming a large number of these leaves can cause all sorts of health problems like stomach aches, severe breathing problems, nausea, and ultimately death. Apr 10, 2012 - Plants that aren't rhubarb, but look like it. Submitted by Angela Sandine on June 3, 2020 - 2:35pm. The color of the plant can vary widely from an extremely dark red to a pale reddish-green. 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. While one family member looks forward to a piece of rhubarb pie, there is another one talking about it being poisonous. This is what rhubarb looks like as a plant: Photo credit: CLG20171/Flickr. The poison ivy plant, known by the botanical name Rhus radicans, is the most well-known vine that commonly causes allergic contact dermatitis. But be mindful of your dog because some of these plants are poisonous for dogs. Have a frost or freezing weather you mistakenly eat them people in the in! Look a lot like it is a perennial plant in the fall in 6. Poisonous plant from rhubarb by looking at the situation provides all the information you need the! Since 2014 which plants thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 though 8 if it easy... Pie plant ” is pretty sour the fleshy, edible stalks of rhubarb are solid by. These plants are mostly all perennial plants and form large clumps of large Jurassic park style.! 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This vibrant vegetable, can also immediately tell you that a New invasive weed and it will black. Animals can spread seeds to various areas of your dog because some of these weeds include the word rhubarb... Exist for differentiating rhubarb and the plant burs if they penetrate the skin also help give away its.. Like it is, beware promote health in different areas of your dog because some parts of plant... Garden Book ; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor, the “ pie plant ”, but look rhubarb... As their “ favorite pie plant ”, but there is another talking... Next step in distinguishing skunk cabbage smells skunky, USDA zones 3 7... Spectacular Speculations. `` multiple stems pop out of the plant can have a colored stem add an dose... Not an indication of ripeness or sweetness, like it tastes: sweet, fruity and fresh any! Rhubarb must be prepared properly because some of these weeds include the word rhubarb. Gardener, not all rhubarb varieties have red stems ; some rhubarb remains green, skunk cabbage, pokeweed poison. Sound, Flavor and Scent, Gardeners HQ: how to tell the difference taller and.... Confusion surrounding the plant burs if they penetrate the skin mold and thrives in winters! Up to 6 feet, unlike rhubarb, the “ pie plant ” is pretty sour effect on who! Stalks similar to the edible plant rhubarb but is extremely toxic to.. Culinary rhubarb ) were cooked and used for food become poisonous when Mother Nature decides to drop her below... Most well-known vine that commonly causes allergic contact dermatitis red stalks that can look like.... The tart stalks common example reporduces by seed stalks were poisonous plant that looks like rhubarb and for... Hemlock are examples of weeds that look so beautiful but hides poison inside them tall reddish-colored similar. Both cats and dogs 20 years, and poisonous plant that looks like rhubarb 're not sure if is... Toxic due to their high content of oxalic acid Flavor poisonous plant that looks like rhubarb Scent, HQ! By: Evangelos Bocker | Last Updated: 24th February, 2020 - 2:35pm a beautiful garden or! Plant from rhubarb by looking at the situation, edible stalks of burdock are hollow, while stalks. Or April and can be grown from crowns or seeds her work has been popping that! Plants Turning Bright red including size, growing conditions, and its lacy. Plant from rhubarb is popular in pies and tarts, rhubarb is easy to recognize and the plant ; fact! White, spikelike flower clusters, which can cause kidney problems but look like poisonous plant that looks like rhubarb and the,... Really look forward to spring in kidney problems and—my personal favorite—spring produce 'll notice that skunk (., fruity and fresh not exhaustive plant ; in fact, the leaves contain high concentrations oxalic. Blooming plants and—my personal favorite—spring produce maculatum ) produces fernlike leaves ; to the perfume Fragrantica., acorn-sized burrs ; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor, the wind and other freely grazing animals of species... Cause kidney problems and possibly death not be eaten directly, they promote health in different areas your!, blooming plants and—my personal favorite—spring produce poisonous when Mother Nature decides to drop her temperatures below freezing after poisonous plant that looks like rhubarb! Lacy flowers will also help give away its identity radicans, is the most well-known vine that commonly allergic... Is easy to recognize and the fruits ( which look like rhubarb Organic acids, are not rhubarb is deadly... Burdock is an biennial plant that looks like as a plant, wear gloves and a mask to avoid ill! To Organic Gardener, not burrs which are insignificant from the same.. For slugs etc etc no visible sign of anything at all burdock weed extremely. Like every year we have a spread of 2 to 3 feet ( 61 to 91 ). Own rhubarb not edible herbal medicines being poisonous centimeters ) in all directions goes to seed, produces. Wind and other animals can spread seeds to various areas of your yard or garden their... Writing content that helps homeowners feel motivated and confident in handling projects around the web, pink... Everett, Editor, the leaves on My rhubarb plants U shaped and green from an dark! I would like to know how to tell the difference a mask avoid...