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Rheum_nobile - Hook.f.&Thoms.

Common Name Sikkim Rhubarb
Family Polygonaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the leaves of some if not all members of this genus contain significant quantities of oxalic acid and should not be eaten in any quantity. Oxalic acid can lock up certain minerals in the body, especially calcium, leading to nutritional deficiency. The content of oxalic acid will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition[238].
Habitats Rock ledges around 4000 metres[187]. Open slopes to 4500 metres[51].
Range E. Asia - Himalayas from Nepal to S.E. Tibet.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Rheum_nobile Sikkim Rhubarb


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rheum_nobile.jpg
Rheum_nobile Sikkim Rhubarb
© Bill Baker, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Rheum_nobile is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaf stem - raw or cooked[51, 105, 183, 272]. Pleasantly acid, this is a commonly used vegetable where it grows wild[2, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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The root is astringent, carminative, depurative, diuretic, purgative and tonic[51, 91, 240]. Small doses act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system, whilst larger doses act as a mild laxative[232]. The flowering stem is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a sour taste and a heating potency[241]. It is antiemetic, diuretic and laxative[241]. It is used in the treatment of swellings and fullness of the abdomen as well as to rid the body of retained fluids[241].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Prefers a deep, fertile, moderately heavy, humus rich, moisture retentive, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -15°c[200]. Plants have proved very difficult to grow in cultivation in Britain[187]. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in autumn in a shaded cold frame[200]. The seed can also be sown in spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in the spring. Division in early spring or autumn[1, 111]. Divide up the rootstock with a sharp spade or knife, making sure that there is at least one growth bud on each division. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

Hook.f.&Thoms.

Botanical References

51200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Emma Ronald   Sun Jan 20 2008

The roots of rheum nobile are known locally in North Sikkim as 'taga' & are traditionally used for dyeing of wool to weave blankets, shawls & carpets.

Jaime Rodriguez   Sun Aug 23 2009

The Alaska Rock Garden Society expedition to Yunnan in 2000 collected 12 seeds of Rheum nobile from Hongshan at an elevation of 4500m. One of these seeds germinated and has been growing in zone 4 in Palmer, Alaska since 2001. The plant is not yet mature enough to bloom, but seems strong and healthy. It has been growing in rich humus in partial shade. The garden where it has been growing was recently sold, so today I moved the plant to my garden in Wasilla, Alaska.

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