Thursday, December 5, 2019

History Blooms at Monticello - Victoria Rhubarb

Victoria Rhubarb (Rheum x coltorum cv.)

Thomas Jefferson first planted a row of “rheum undulatum, esculent rhubarb” in his vegetable garden on his April 13th birthday in 1809. He added that “the leaves [are] excellent as Spinach” (Note: rhubarb leaves are now considered poisonous and only the leaf stem should be consumed). In 1811 he planted it in the submural beds below the garden wall. 

Rhubarb has a long history in cultivation, dating back to 2700 BC in China where it was grown for medicinal purposes. It is believed a Maine gardener first grew it in America between 1790 and 1800. ‘Victoria’ is a cultivated variety that dates to at least the mid-1800s and New England horticulturist Fearing Burr described it in Field and Garden Vegetables of America, 1863.

For more information & the possible availability for purchase