gunnera gunneraceae/ haloragidaceae


I love this plant. I simply love it. I’ve often heard people say that such a plant won’t grow in a particular place. The ‘with it’ thinkers of the horticultural societies will however suggest than you suit the plant to the place….

More often when it comes to boggy, sodden areas the plant range is ‘not the best looking’. Or we chose to raise that area and take away from ‘what could be…’ Got that spot. Embrace it.Because this plant is for you.

This is gunnera [gunneraceae/ haloragidaceae]. And so as not to bore the socks right off you, here’s the low down….

  • a genus of about 45 species
  • greeny yellowy flowers in summer
  • originates from wet areas of South America/ Africa/ Australia
  • looks like rhubarb[ish] when in full leaf
  • its got a kind of prickly stem and leaf [it doesn’t hurt you btw]
  • great by natural ponds
  • the lower flowers are female ; the uppermost male some are bisexual & some dioecious…..
  • grows quite well in irish weather
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3 replies
  1. Brian
    Brian says:

    Great choice of plant, local to here Blarney Castle and Anne’s Grove Gardens have masses of them. Great for a damp patch.

  2. Julian
    Julian says:

    Some spare bits of Gunnera that came home with me while I was gardening at Annes Grove are perfectly happy in a not-very-wet place right next to hungry bamboos.

    I’d take a chance with this plant in any sheltered spot that wasn’t bone dry and had enough space – and, reassuringly despite its huge summer size, the shallow roots and extreme herbaceousness (goes back to nothing in winter) mean it’s never going to be a thug, undermine your house, &c. &c.

    If you are worried, you could try the tiny G. magellanica, which we never got around to introducing at Annes Grove – though it would have been a good joke for the plant fiends.

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