Flowers on my rhubarb

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Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194494Post MonsieurBOZ
Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:38 am

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.

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194496Post Annpan
Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:48 am

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

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

Post: # 194499Post pelmetman
Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:19 pm

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.
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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194500Post grahamhobbs
Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:26 pm

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.

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194521Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:04 pm

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.

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194550Post dave45
Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:50 pm

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?)

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194574Post Flo
Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 am

It seems to be heat that does it - usually after a damp spell but not always.

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 194998Post Millymollymandy
Mon May 03, 2010 6:41 am

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.
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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 195025Post Pennylane
Mon May 03, 2010 10:12 am

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:

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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 198009Post Peggy Sue
Sun May 30, 2010 2:02 pm

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?
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Re: Flowers on my rhubarb

Post: # 198013Post Cloud
Sun May 30, 2010 3:19 pm

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

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