Gunnera is one of the most unusual botanical creations of nature. Suitable for large gardens, bogs or waterside landscapes, these herbaceous plants can grow to enormous size. Almost all species of Gunnera come from tropical parts of Brazil though some of them grow natively in Colombia and New Zealand.
A typical Gunnera plant is characterized by gigantic leaves (up to 10 feet wide). These large leaves grow on thick, succulent stems that usually grow as long as 9 feet. Because of massive foliage, Gunnera plants are not suitable for small gardens. The best place for Gunnera is a waterside bed where they receive ample moist which is very important for their survival.
Of all species, Gunnera Manicata is relatively easy to grow and maintain. Like other species it requires a lot of moisture and temperature between 23° C and 28° C. These plants are sensitive to frost and cannot withstand hot, dry season which is why they are usually cultivated alongside water reserves where they look quite spectacular. Besides their ornamental foliage, almost all species of Gunnera produce attractive and unusual blooms that appear from mid-summer and last till early fall.
Gunnera can be propagated from divisions. Leaves of Gunnera plants usually have spines and sharp edges that should be handled with care. Handling these plants can also cause allergy or irritation on skin.
These plants are also known as Giant Rhubarb.