Stems and roots peeled and eaten, medicinal value, attractive foliage.
Gunnera purpensa Wild Rhubarb This deciduous shrub grows to about 1m in the sun. It is frost resistant and produces reddish brown flowers in spring. As it grows along our rivers it is useful for wetlands or in a dam. The stems and roots are peeled and eaten and it also has medicinal value. The large leaves are 30 cm wide and are attractive next to a water feature. The leaf and flower stems can be eaten raw or cooked. The underground stem is used to promote the expulsion of the afterbirth in stock and in humans. An infusion is used to treat urinary disorders and psoriasis. It is also mixed with a Crinum bulb to treat rheumatic fever pain. Named after Johan Ernest Gunnerus ( 1718-1773) who was a Norwegian clergyman, collector and scholar. He discovered many plants, birds, fish and animals. This is a protected plant in South Africa.