Rhubarb like many plants now used for food was originally used as a
medicinal plant in Asia. This vegetable has really only been used as
a food since the late 18th century. Over the centuries many opinions
about what part of Rhubarb is safe to eat or use have been bandied
Even as late as the 1940's there are reports of leaves being
cooked as vegetables. There are also many accounts of illness and
even death related to Rhubarb leaves.
Today we know that the leaves are poisonous and should be
discarded after the stalks of Rhubarb are pulled from the ground.
Growing Rhubarb is super easy. Our Rhubarb is the old reliable,
Victoria Rhubarb. In most areas full sun is preferred. In hot summer
areas, it can be successfully grown with morning sun and late
afternoon shade. We have even had success growing it with more shade
than sun. But, it does get very hot here with many days over 100
Rhubarb should be planted in a spot where it will not be
disturbed for many years. While some gardeners prefer to uproot it
and divide it every five years or so, we have grown it undisturbed
for over ten years. It seems totally unnecessary to uproot it and
divide the crown.