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Information @ a Glance

General Information

  • Rhubarb, often called pie plant, is an herbaceous perennial. The edible portion of the plant is the large tender leaf stalk harvested in late spring or early summer when other fruits are not yet ripe.

  • The flowers are small, greenish-white, and borne in large compound leafy inflorescences.

Growth and Cultivation

  • Rhubarb will grow and produce on most soils, but grows best in fertile, well-drained soils that have good organic matter content. Careful soil preparation will help rhubarb stay healthy and productive for many years.

  • Other considerations for a planting site for rhubarb include exposure and location. Since rhubarb is a perennial, it should be planted to one side or at the end of the garden so as not to interfere with planting and growing annual vegetables.

  • Rhubarb, like most vegetables, requires regular irrigation during dry weather.


  • Good source of Vitamin C and fiber.
  • Medicinal: Stomachic, laxative, antiphlogistic, and homeostatic. Used for constipation, diarrhea, jaundice, gastro-intestinal hemorrhage, menstrual disorders, conjunctivitis, traumatic injuries, superficial suppurative sores and ulcers. Externally refrigerant
  • Other uses: to clean burnt pans, root decoction makes a hair dye to lighten blond or light brown hair, fiber can be used in papermaking, leaf decoction makes an insecticide for leaf eating insects.

Market and Report

  • According to industry sources, about three-fourths of U.S. rhubarb is processed, with most of that used for  freezing. A small amount of rhubarb is also canned or dehydrated (freeze-dried). Most rhubarb that is frozen is packed for commercial and institutional use, with smaller volumes packed for retail (supermarket) sale.

  • Exports of fresh rhubarb to Canada, by far the leading foreign market for most U.S. vegetables, have been available via Canadian import data.

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