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Brazilian Giant-rhubarb - Invasive Species Information

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What Is Brazilian Giant-rhubarb - (Gunnera manicata)?

Habitat: Found in sheltered areas where the ground is permanently moist, such as lake margins and stream-sides.
Distribution in Ireland:

Status: Established

Family name: Gunneraceae

Brazilian Giant-Rhubarb - (Gunnera manicata)

are wind-pollinated. Large numbers of small, fleshy fruits with single seeds follow and mature in the autumn. Each seedhead can produce over 80,000 seeds. Seed does not appear to be viable under natural conditions in Ireland.

Reproduction: Between June and August, Brazilian Giant-rhubarb bear a large number of tiny flowers on large cone-shaped inflorescence's which

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb - Gunnera manicata Leaves

Native to Brazil it was introduced to Ireland by gardeners during the 1930's.

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb is a large, clump-forming perennial with stout horizontal stems known as rhizomes, massive umbrella-sized leaves and stems up to 2 m tall. Over winter the plant dies down but grows new leaves in spring.



Brazilian Giant-Rhubarb - (Gunnera manicata) Flower
Brazilian Giant-Rhubarb - (Gunnera manicata) Stem

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb Flower

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb Stem Spines

 How To Identify Brazilian Giant-rhubarb?

Leaf: Dark Green Very Large Leaf

Flower: Distinctive pink

Stem: Spiney

Size: Can grow to over 2 metres 

Brazilian Giant-Rhubarb - Gunnera manicata - ID Guide

Two closely related species are found in Ireland: Giant-rhubarb (also known as Chilean giant-rhubarb, Gunnera tinctoria) and Brazilian giant-rhubarb - Gunnera manicata).

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb - Gunnera manicata ID Guide

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb Leaf

Why Is Brazilian Giant-rhubarb A Problem?

Once established, they can be very invasive and form dense colonies, suppressing native plants as the large leaves prevent other plants growing underneath them. They can also impede water flow through the obstruction of drainage in adjacent streams and rivers particularly when water levels are high.

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb Seeds

Brazilian Giant-rhubarb Leaf

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...


Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50

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