Rhubarb is a vegetable derived from cultivated plants in the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. The whole plant – a herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes – is also called rhubarb. Historically, different plants have been called “rhubarb” in English. The fleshy, edible stalks (petioles) of other species and hybrids (culinary rhubarb) were cooked and used for food. The large, triangular leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making them inedible. The small flowers are grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescences.
This is the most common culinary and cultivated variety. The name Rheum rhabarbarum or Rheum undulatum refers to the wild species and are used synonymously (but wrongly) for this plant.
Divide the crowns are well-developed rhubarb plants in dormancy in early spring or mid fall. Cut each crown into several pieces, each with at least one bud on it. Plant in the ground as soon as possible. Dig holes, and mix native soil with compost. Plant the top of the crown 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface and pack soil so there are no air pockets. Water thoroughly.