Right now the rhubarb leaves are bigger than dinner plates on stalks. There will be a group of stalks growing from the same base. They can be from 6 inches to two feet long. They are round with a valley down one side like celery. I guess they really look like celery with a dark reddish or sometimes green color. If it hasn't been tended this year there could be tall round hollow stalks with seed heads on them. The Japanese beetles like to eat holes in the leaves.
Okay, there are three plants in the garden which could be rhubarb (previous owner definitely grew the stuff in the now horribly overgrown garden)
But neighbor (previous owner's DD) insists the stuff I had picked as weeds are rhubarb, and the stuff I just spent an hour clearing around and mulching (for crying out loud) is a weed.
What is the stuff that grows in the field that the cows and horses eat all around and never touch? I am concerned that one of these rhubarb candidates is that stuff.
What the neighbor says is rhubarb I think is the field weed. It looks very much like rhubarb in that it has a scooped out stalk like celery. The leaves are similar, but not as curled at the edges. The veins underneath (branching away from the main one) are less pronounced, and the color of the underside is brighter green. It retains a red color near the leaf.
Whereas the stuff I thought was rhubarb has a less glossy leaf, a more silvery grey underside, and a redder base of the stem (actually purple). Slightly more pointed at the end, and slightly fuzzy.
My plants are smaller because I mowed the garden in June (It was just too disastrous)
Great Scott, why do I bother - I don't know- It just seems so wasteful to lose a good plant, but maybe I'd just better start over.
Dia, cut a stalk off and smell the juice, and compare it to the other plants smell which may be burdock. If you are still uncertain taste a tiny bit of the juice. It won't be fatal and the rhubarb will be very sour, but have a good flavor.
You'll laugh at me , but I tried sniffing the leaves and my lips and nose went numb for an hour! Yikes.
Will try the stalks.
Thx, Unk. It is pathetic what can drive me crazy (perhaps it is not a very long drive)
Hey, guys. Verdict is in.
Two of the three are not rhubarb.
Uncle Will and Miz Mary, many thanks.
The one neighbor thought was rhubarb is growing in the field, around the barn, etc.
The one I mulched and weeded in the garden is growing around my porch, between the cracks in the sidewalk, etc. Chalk it up to experience.
The second plant my neighbor and I looked at looks like the pics, Miz Mary, but the stalk didn't taste very sour, Uncle Will. I will give the third one till next spring to prove itself, but I think I may have one plant.
I know I'm a ninny, but I hate to lose something valuable.
Thanks for helping!
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