One of the ultimate foliage plants reaching Volkswagen Bug size in time, Gunnera has huge, puckered, palmate leaves 4 – 7 feet across borne on stout, prickly rhubarb-red leaves. Protect from Arctic blasts in winter by mulching with its own leaves. It loves a lot of water so place it next to a pond or just make sure not to forget to give it plenty of water during dry and hot weather. Crisp, brown leaf tips will tell you it's not getting enough water. The flowers are an astounding 3 – 6 foot tall, red & green plume of a spike!
From Brazil and Columbia comes true Gunnera manicata and it appears that after new research by the Royal Horticultural Society the true species is quite rare in cultivations. What has occurred is the crossing of the two species, Gunnera manicata and Gunnera tinctoria that is given the name Gunnera x cryptica. The parentage of G. manicata is evident with broader leaves, less deeply lobed, and flowers that are loose and feathery.
Mature size: 6-10 feet tall & 8-14 feet wide
Minimum temperature: 5° F