We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Rheum_officinale - Baill.

Common Name Chinese 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 Hills and forest understories at elevations of 1200 - 4000 metres in western China[266].
Range E. Asia - Tibet.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Rheum_officinale Chinese Rhubarb


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-256.jpg
Rheum_officinale Chinese Rhubarb
biolib.de

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Rheum_officinale is a PERENNIAL growing to 2 m (6ft) by 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from July to August. 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 - cooked or raw[177, 178]. Rather medicinal[105]. One report says that the plant contains 1.3% rutin[240]. It does not specify which part of the plant, though it is likely to be the leaves[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



Rhubarb has a long and proven history of herbal usage, its main effect being a positive and balancing effect upon the whole digestive system. It is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine[218, 238]. The root is anticholesterolemic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitumor, aperient, astringent, cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, laxative, purgative, stomachic and tonic[4, 147, 171, 176, 218, 238]. The roots contain anthraquinones, which have a purgative effect, and also tannins and bitters, which have an opposite astringent effect[244]. When taken in small doses, it acts as an astringent tonic to the digestive system, whilst larger doses act as a mild laxative[232, 244]. The root is taken internally in the treatment of chronic constipation, diarrhoea, liver and gall bladder complaints, haemorrhoids, menstrual problems and skin eruptions due to an accumulation of toxins[238]. This remedy is not prescribed for pregnant or lactating women, nor for patients with intestinal obstruction[238]. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of burns[238]. The roots are harvested in October from plants that are at least six years old, they are then dried for later use[4]. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the dried root[232]. This is used especially in the treatment of diarrhoea in teething children[232].

Other Uses

Plants can be grown for ground cover when spaced about 1.8 metres apart each way[208].

Cultivation details

Prefers a deep, fertile, moderately heavy, humus rich, moisture retentive, well-drained soil in sun or semi-shade[200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn[233]. Hardy to about -20°c[200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is closely related to R. australe[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[200]. Cultivated as a medicinal plant in China[61]. Plants at the Cambridge Botanical Gardens in September 1993 were growing well in the shade of a woodland garden, though they were not succeeding when planted closely to the trees[K]. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233].

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

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

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

Baill.

Botanical References

200266

Links / References

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

Readers comment

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Rheum_officinale  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.