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Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:38 am
by MonsieurBOZ
This is a new one on me; I am nearly 50, and have seen rhubarb growing in my family garden as long as I can remember, and I've never seen it in flower - now mine is!!!
The flowers actually look more like little cauliflowers but I'm sure they are in fact flowers.
The question is what should I do with them, leave, cut off, eat???
Anyone who knows, please advise.
Thanks
BOZ

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:48 am
by Annpan
We had a discussion about this a few years ago, I'll see if I can find it...

In the mean time, I think cut them off to continue productivity of the plant, but don't eat them, due to the oxalic acid :puke:

I've never seen it flowering either but I think some varieties do every 4 years or something? and they usually only do after a hot summer (being in Scotland might be why I have never seen them flowering then...lol)

have a look at this thread -> viewtopic.php?f=22&t=14616&p=158330&hilit=rhubarb+flower#p158330 :mrgreen:

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:19 pm
by pelmetman
Our rhubarb has a flower developing and I too have never seen it before.

I've checked this out and they should definitely be cut out. Flowering can be associated with wet summers and we certainly had one of those last year. It also could be because of a too high application of nitrogen.

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:26 pm
by grahamhobbs
Our rhubarb flowers every year in London, as do most of our neighbours, we just break the flowers off to prevent energies going into seed production.

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:04 pm
by The Riff-Raff Element
Yep - ours flowers every year too. If the flowers are not cut then the leaves will die back far earlier and will not push again that season. If you do allow it to seed then the seeds can be ground to a flour which makes particularly finr pancakes. I kid you not.

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:50 pm
by dave45
Some of my rhubarbs try and flower, others don't. The ones that don't have bigger and better stems and leaves. I chop the flower-stalks off as soon as I see them. Do they try and flower if they are under stress? (e.g. due to poor soil, under/overwatering or smth?)

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 am
by Flo
It seems to be heat that does it - usually after a damp spell but not always.

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:41 am
by Millymollymandy
Mine flowers every year but I don't have the nice red type just some tough stringy old green stuff that I inherhited with this place. The flowers look lovely though.

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:12 am
by Pennylane
This thread really surprises me..I have never seen a rhubarb flower..Myine came from a pile of garden rubbish thrown over a fence, it has been fantastic for years. :lol:

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:02 pm
by Peggy Sue
This fasciantes me- I'd never seen a rhubarb flower til I got the allotment. All teh rhubarbs I've ever had a home don't flower (and still don't) while the one at the allotment does every year. I thought it may be a male/female thing like asparagus but clearly not then?

Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:19 pm
by Cloud
As we've just put rhubarb in to the ground last autumn for the first time, and are now looking forward to when we can pick it (next year), we've been watching every one else's rhubarb which keen interest, and much of it does seems to be flowering (or trying to). I had just put it down to me being rather unobservant in other years, as I can ever remember seeing anybody's rhubarb flowering before.

I wonder if this is an unusual year.

BTW, everyone who I would rate as knowing[*] what they are doing seems to cut the flower off at the base

(* older and wiser)