Spiked Rhubarb
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Spiked Rhubarb
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Spiked Rhubarb • Ladakhi: ལཆུ Lachhu
Botanical name: Rheum spiciforme    Family: Polygonaceae (Knotweed family)

Spiked rhubarb is a robust perennial herb which has all its leaves at the base. The leaves are large, rounded or heart-shaped, 15-30 cm across, thick and leathery, becoming red-brown on maturity. Leaves are carried on very stout stalks, 5-15 cm long, which also turn reddish. Flowers are borne in 1-3 erect cylindrical spikes, 5-30 cm tall. Flowers are greenish, turning reddish, 3 mm across. Leaf and stem is eaten raw or cooked. The root is used as a purgative. Spiked rhubarb is found in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan to Tibet, at altitudes of 3300-4800 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.

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