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 CharacteristicsThe 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.
CarePrefers 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.
PropagationSow seed when fresh and overwinter in cool, frost free location. Germination is slow. Take basal leaf cuttings in spring.
ProblemsSnails and slugs.
- Genus : Gunnera
- Zones : 10, 7, 8, 9
- Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
- Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
- Growth Rate : Fast
- Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
- Maintenance : Low
- Moisture : Medium Moisture
- Plant Type : Perennials
- Flower Color : Red, Yellow
- Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Seed Heads
- Bloom Time : Spring
- Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
Plant Characteristics are only available to Fine Gardening members
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our complete plant guide as well as our entire collection of articles and videos.