Gunnera manicata

Gunnera manicata

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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(Gunnera manicata)
GUN-ner-ah man-ih-KAY-tah
Synonyms:  G. brasiliensis
Genus:  Gunnera
This is the granddaddy of big-leaved perennials. No other plant can so thoroughly alter the scale of a garden while calling such attention to itself.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  The architectural leaves grow up to 6 feet across. They are rounded and deeply toothed, and sit atop prickly stalks that extend to 10 feet tall and form giant clumps. Gunnera manicata produces large, bottle-brush spikes of tiny reddish-green florets in the spring. It looks particularly at home at the water's edge. 
Care:  Prefers deep, moist soil, in sun or partial shade. Shelter from drying winds.  It may survive a colder zone with the protection of a dry mulch.
Propagation:  Sow seed when fresh and overwinter in cool, frost free location. Germination is slow. Take basal leaf cuttings in spring.
Problems:  Snails and slugs.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Fast Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Spring
Flower Color
Red Flower,
Yellow Flower
Uses
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Waterside
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Perennials

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