Giant Gunnera

Giant Gunnera, aka Giant Rhubarb, is one of those prehistoric dinosaur plants.  I really want one…but it’s way too big for our home garden in San Francisco.

Detail of the Gunnera flower

Detail of the Gunnera flower

They have funky flowers too.  Above is a detail of their blooms.

Gunnera by the DeYoung Museum

Gunnera by the DeYoung Museum

The most common place you are gonna see a Giant Gunnera (Gunnera manicata) is in a public space.  Yesterday while hiking in Golden Gate Park, I popped over to two places where I can find these monsters.  First place is near the DeYoung Museum.

Giant Gunnera - Gunnera manicata

Giant Gunnera – Gunnera manicata

The second is in GGP’s Tree Fern Dell (hey…looks like Danger Garden found the Dell too).  This is one bad boy.  The leaves are prickly top and bottom, the stems have these pointy spikes, and the flowers look more like a bottle brush scrub.  Who would win a fight between Gunnera manicata VS Agave americana?

Flower and stem.

Flower and stem.

Look closely.  To give some sense of scale, I put my black camera lens cover upon the center of the leaf below.  Yeah, it is that tiny dot in the middle.  I would say this leaf was about 4 feet wide.

Huge leaves (see camera lens cover center of leaf)

Huge leaves (see camera lens cover center of leaf)

Just strange.

Just strange.

You have to love public gardens.  Gunnera like wet boggy areas, and is doing well near this pond.  But what is up with those sculptures?  Just a little too creepy for me.

– Far Out Flora

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