Herb latin name: Rheum ribes

Family: Polygonaceae (Buckwheat Family)

Edible parts of Rheum ribes:

Leaf stem - cooked. Eaten raw by the local people.

Description of the plant:


150 cm
(5 feet)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Dry gorges among rocks, 2300 - 2700 metres.

Propagation of Rheum ribes:

Seed - best sown in autumn in a shaded cold frame. The seed can also be sown in spring in a cold frame. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in the spring. Division in early spring or autumn. Divide up the rootstock with a sharp spade or knife, making sure that there is at least one growth bud on each division. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry gorges among rocks, 2300 - 2700 metres.

Medicinal use of Rheum ribes:

None known

Known hazards of Rheum ribes:

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the leaves of some if not all members of this genus contain significant quantities of oxalic acid and should not be eaten in any quantity. Oxalic acid can lock up certain minerals in the body, especially calcium, leading to nutritional deficiency. The content of oxalic acid will be reduced if the plant is cooked. People with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.