[36] The long term consumption of oxalic acid leads to kidney stone formation in humans. [17], The cost of transportation across Asia made rhubarb expensive in medieval Europe. In a separate small bowl, add the butter and beat until creamy, 30 seconds. In addition, rhubarb can be a beautiful ornamental plant with its large, textured leaves and chunky stems. Commonly, it is stewed with sugar or used in pies and desserts, but it can also be put into savoury dishes or pickled. They readily hybridize, and culinary rhubarb was developed by selecting open-pollinated seed, so that its precise origin is almost impossible to determine. Rhubarb has a very interesting look and history. In former days, a common and affordable sweet for children in parts of the United Kingdom and Sweden was a tender stick of rhubarb, dipped in sugar. Rhubarb, for example, is often included in sweet dessert-style recipes even though it’s a vegetable. Other sources give a much higher oral LDLo (lowest published lethal dose) of 600 mg/kg. Rhubarb is grown widely, and with greenhouse production it is available throughout much of the year. Rhubarb is a good example as well because people can’t tell whether it’s a fruit or vegetable. April 12, 2019 | Susan. Rhubarb- Fruit or Vegetable? It may be for this reason that in the United States it was legally declared a fruit in 1947. I can’t be the only one, can I? You know, I had this moment when I realized I didn’t know whether rhubarb is a vegetable or a fruit. However, the site should be well considered. Aug 4, 2020 - Rhubarb technically is a vegetable. A person with a dull or inactive life edible seeds or roots or stems or leaves or bulbs or tubers or nonsweet fruits of any of numerous herbaceous plant A plant or part of a plant used… Rhubarb is a herbaceous perennial plant yes it is a fruit In the United States, it is usually infused with strawberry juice to mimic the popular strawberry rhubarb pie. When harvesting time has come, take a sharp knife and cut off the stems at ground level. Rosy rhubarb is native to Siberia, and it’s one of the oldest vegetables around. Rhubarb is an unusual vegetable because it’s very sour and slightly sweet. This is due to its sour, fruity taste and the fact that it is mainly used for desserts. Copyright © 2008-2020 GARDENA, All rights reserved, Product registration / Warranty extension, Planting and Maintenance Glove Size 7 / S. [31], Rhubarb is grown primarily for its fleshy leafstalks, technically known as petioles. In fact, it’s easily mistaken for a fruit. Wrongly, Rhubarb is often counted among the fruit species. Despite its similar appearance to celery, rhubarb is no relation. After the rhubarb leaves die down in the fall, simply cover the rhubarb crown with straw or compost. Rhubarb is a vegetable, but it is often prepared or combined with fruit for desserts. through brain damage offensive. [31] The specific epithet rhaponticum, applying to one of the presumed parents of the cultivated plant, means 'rha from the region of the Black Sea'. The whole plant – a herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes – is also called rhubarb. [39][40][41] The toxic rhubarb leaves have been used in flavouring extracts, after the oxalic acid is removed by treatment with precipitated chalk (i.e., calcium carbonate). The species Rheum rhabarbarum (syn. In the United States it's considered a fruit because we use it more like one and the tariffs are lower for fruit than vegetables. [33] Rhubarb in the US is also often paired with strawberries to make strawberry-rhubarb pie, though some rhubarb purists jokingly consider this "a rather unhappy marriage".[33]. In Northern Europe and North America the stalks are commonly cut into pieces and stewed with added sugar until soft. Species of herbaceous perennial plant with fleshy, sour edible stalks, Lawrence D Hills. Organic Gardening. Its extremely tart stalks are the only edible part of the plant; the leaves contain poisonous oxalic acid, and are always snipped off and discarded. The leaves are not eaten as they are poisonous. Rhubarb is a perennial plant that has stalks similar to celery. The most popular accompanying spice to use is ginger, although cinnamon and nutmeg are also popular additions. This means that while many of us would call rhubarb a fruit because it’s used like one, technically, it’s actually a vegetable, and those lovely vegetables that we … vegetable offensive. The merchant explorer Marco Polo therefore searched for the place where the plant was grown and harvested, discovering that it was cultivated in the mountains of Tangut province. [22] From the first, the familiar garden rhubarb was not the only Rheum in American gardens: Thomas Jefferson planted R. undulatum at Monticello in 1809 and 1811, observing that it was "Esculent rhubarb, the leaves excellent as Spinach. Wrongly, Rhubarb is often counted among the fruit species. Rhubarb is considered a fruit because it is usually eaten as a dessert, but it is actually a vegetable. But rhubarb is a bit of an interesting case. The perennial plant cannot be replanted in its early years. Rhubarb damaged by severe cold should not be eaten, as it may be high in oxalic acid, which migrates from the leaves and can cause illness. Grab the base of the stalk and twist as you pull up. Do you know the plant with the big green leaves and a long red stalk? Traditionally, rhubarb is known as a very hardy and versatile plant that, like asparagus, can be harvested until around Midsummer’s Day (24 June). more detailed. The colour is not related to its suitability for cooking. Would you like to know where to find GARDENA products? In the northwestern US states of Oregon and Washington, there are typically two harvests, from late April to May and from late June into July;[10] half of all US production is in Pierce County, Washington. These days, it’s also one of the least well-known. The large, triangular leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making them inedible. Humans have been poisoned after ingesting the leaves, a particular problem during World War I when the leaves were mistakenly recommended as a food source in Britain. 10 Rhubarb Bars to Make ASAP allrecipes.com - Corey Williams. In 1947 a New York court declared rhubarb a fruit because it's most often cooked as one in the United States (and, it's said, because it was a way to save businesses who imported these stalks from … The roots of the frost-resistant vegetable must settle down well. The "Russian rhubarb" was the most valued, probably because of the rhubarb-specific quality control system maintained by the Russian Empire. "[23], The advocate of organic gardening Lawrence D. Hills listed his favourite rhubarb varieties for flavour as ‘Hawke's Champagne’, ‘Victoria’, ‘Timperley Early’, and ‘Early Albert’, also recommending ‘Gaskin's Perpetual’ for having the lowest level of oxalic acid, allowing it to be harvested over a much longer period of the growing season without developing excessive sourness. Wrongly, Rhubarb is often counted among the fruit species. In the 1940s, however, New York State decided that rhubarb should be classified as a fruit because the tariffs and duties were cheaper, and it … Botanically, rhubarb is a perennial vegetable. [19] The local availability of the plants grown for medicinal purposes, together with the increasing abundance and decreasing price of sugar in the 18th century, galvanised its culinary adoption. It belongs to the class of the knotweed family (Polygonaceae) as well as sorrel (Rumex acetosa). The precise origin of culinary rhubarb is unknown. [20], Though it is often asserted that rhubarb first came to the United States in the 1820s,[21] John Bartram was growing medicinal and culinary rhubarbs in Philadelphia from the 1730s, planting seeds sent to him by Peter Collinson. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but is legally considered a fruit. The large, triangular leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making them inedible. Rhubarb ( Rheum rhabarbarum) is a vegetable that’s usually prepared and eaten like a fruit, turned into pies, jams, jellies, and more. [11] Rhubarb is ready to consume as soon as harvested, and freshly cut stalks are firm and glossy. R. undulatum) and R. rhaponticum were grown in Europe before the 18th century and used for medicinal purposes. Add the rhubarb to a small bowl, and toss with 3 tablespoons (35 grams) of sugar. [15] Though Dioscurides' description of ρηον or ρά indicates that a medicinal root brought to Greece from beyond the Bosphorus may have been rhubarb, commerce in the drug did not become securely established until Islamic times. The season is short, and time should not be wasted on debates. It is called the “pie plant” because one of its most popular uses is as pie filling. It is still eaten this way in western Finland, Norway, Canada, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Faroe Islands and Sweden, and also some other parts of the world. The gorgeous vegetable (rhubarb is … Many cultivars have been developed for human consumption, most of which are recognised as Rheum × hybridum by the Royal Horticultural Society.[6]. The part of the rhubarb that you eat is just the stalk that supports the leaves ( which are toxic). In Romania we use it as a fruit and vegetable. [43] While the oxalic acid content of rhubarb leaves can vary, a typical value is about 0.5%,[44] meaning a 65 kg adult would need to eat 4 to 8 kg (9 to 18 lbs) to obtain a lethal dose, depending on which lethal dose is assumed. [36][48][49], The rhubarb curculio, Lixus concavus, is a weevil. By the early 18th century, these two species and a possible hybrid of unknown origin, R. × hybridum, were grown as vegetable crops in England and Scandinavia. it is a stalk, and therefore the form is a vegetable, but we use it like a fruit. However, modern rhubarb cultivars are tetraploids with 2n = 44, in contrast to 2n = 22 for the wild species. A person who is incapable of normal mental or physical activity, esp. See more ideas about rhubarb, recipes, rhubarb recipes. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but is often used in food as a fruit. Here’s where things get confusing: Contrary to popular belief, rhubarb is technically a vegetable. [13], The Chinese call rhubarb "the great yellow" (dà huáng 大黃), and have used rhubarb root for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. This is due to its sour, fruity … This will be my board for posting my tried and true recipes. Penguin 1997. page 145, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Culinary Rhubarb Production in North America: History and Recent Statistics", "Did John Bartram introduce rhubarb to North America? [36][37], The roots and stems contain anthraquinones, such as emodin and rhein. Rhubarb grown in hothouses (heated greenhouses) is called "hothouse rhubarb", and is typically made available at consumer markets in early spring, before outdoor cultivated rhubarb is available. The actual fruit is just a vehicle for the seeds that use the nutrition in it to grow. If you want to increase the harvest with the help of compost or organic fertilizer, please absolutely make sure not to harm the roots. It was reclassified as a fruit when US customs officials, baffled by the foreign food, decided it should be classified according to the way it was eaten. [24], The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:[25], The word rhubarb is likely to have derived in the 14th century from the Old French rubarbe, which came from the Latin rheubarbarum and Greek rha barbaron, meaning 'foreign rhubarb'. It's considered a vegetable here as the edible stalks of the rhubarb plant grow from a sturdy rhizone (underground stem), and the best stalks are long, thin, vibrant pink and tender, and are the result of being force-grown in artifical darkness. The stalks are the only edible part of the plant; in fact, the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous. Well, apparently it’s a vegetable. Legally, though, it’s a fruit. III. Hungry wildlife may dig up and eat rhubarb roots in the spring, as stored starches are turned to sugars for new foliage growth. [30] The Greek physician Dioscorides used the Greek word ῥᾶ (rha), whereas Galen later used ῥῆον (rhēon), Latin rheum. [48] Both fatal and non-fatal cases of rhubarb poisoning may be caused not by oxalates, but rather by toxic anthraquinone glycosides. [14] The anthraquinones have been separated from powdered rhubarb root for purposes in traditional medicine,[35] although long-term consumption of the plant has been associated with acute kidney failure. Alternatively, greater quantities of sugar can be added with pectin to make jams. Thus the remaining stems can take in the energy of the plant. The rest period after harvesting is important to ensure a rich harvest the following year. It is a hearty vegetable that thrives in cooler climates and originally came by way of China, Russia and Mongolia where it was first used as a medicinal herb to treat a variety of illnesses. [17] Grieve claims a date of 1820 in England. The vegetable is very carefree. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but is legally considered a fruit. During Islamic times, it was imported along the Silk Road, reaching Europe in the 14th century through the ports of Aleppo and Smyrna, where it became known as "Turkish rhubarb". It was several times the price of other valuable herbs and spices such as cinnamon, opium, and saffron. The small flowersare gro… Historically, different plants have been called "rhubarb" in English. However, scientifically it qualifies as a vegetable. In the United Kingdom, the first rhubarb of the year is harvested by candlelight in forcing sheds where all other light is excluded, a practice that produces a sweeter, more tender stalk. Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid, a nephrotoxin. [14] It appears in The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic, which is thought to have been compiled about 1,800 years ago. [8] Serious cases of rhubarb poisoning are not well documented. The species Rheum ribes has been eaten in the Islamic world since the 10th century.[32]. This is also exemplified in other dishes like carrot cake or sweet potato pie. The identity of rhubarb has vexed gardeners and chefs for years, so much so in fact, that a in 1947 a US court ruled it was a fruit. These in turn derive from a Persian name for species of Rheum. In the United States the common usage of rhubarb in pies has led to it being nicknamed ‘pie plant’, by which it is referred to in many 19th century US cookbooks. Botanically, a fruit contains seeds and vegetables consist of leaves, stalks and roots. Rhubarb is a vegetable derived from cultivated plants in the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable (yes, vegetable) characterized by long crimson or light green stalks topped by large ruffled green leaves. It is native to Siberia and spread through Europe and North America. Rhubarb is a host, damage being visible mainly on the leaves and stalks, with gummosis, and oval or circular feeding and/or egg-laying sites.[50]. The harvest time begins in April. This cool-season crop, which is perennial in many areas, is grown for its fibrous leaf stalks that can make a wonderful tart treat. Rhubarb can also be used to make alcoholic drinks, such as fruit wines or Finnish Rhubarb sima (mead). They have a strong, tart taste. Rhubarb stalks are poetically described as "crimson stalks". The fruit of a plant is the reproductive part. — Michael Marks, Correspondent In the Bins The arrival of shiny crimson red rhubarb is yet another sign that spring has arrived. All that and it’s perennial in many areas. ", "Safety (MSDS) data for oxalic acid dihydrate", "THE ORGANIC ACIDS OF RHUBARB (RHEUM HYBRIDUM). As Hank explains, the definition of a true vegetable is anything that is the root, stem or leaf of a plant. Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? The resulting compote, sometimes thickened with corn starch, can then be used in pies, tarts and crumbles. [16] Later, it also started arriving via the new maritime routes, or overland through Russia. Because of its prolific spread in areas of favorable climate, rhubarb is very often seen as a weed. [34], In traditional Chinese medicine, rhubarb roots of several species were used as a laxative for several millennia,[35] although there is no clinical evidence to indicate such use is effective. Rhubarb is usually considered a vegetable as the plant produces external seeds, For culinary purposes it is used as a fruit. Rhubarb is a cool season crop that is grown for its fibrous leaf stalks, which are a wonderful sweet-tart treat. [36], The rhizomes contain stilbenoid compounds (including rhaponticin), and the flavanol glucosides (+)-catechin-5-O-glucoside and (−)-catechin-7-O-glucoside.[38]. Get tips and tricks how to clever water with GARDENA. Rhubarb (Rheum officinale Baillon) is a very undemanding perennial vegetable. Add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. It is mainly used in pies and other desserts. [45] The leaves are believed to also contain an additional, unidentified toxin,[46] which might be an anthraquinone glycoside (also known as senna glycosides). Leave at least 2 stalks per plant to ensure continued production. [12], The colour of rhubarb stalks can vary from the commonly associated crimson red, through speckled light pink, to simply light green. Rhubarb is a vegetable derived from cultivated plants in the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. Rhubarb was one of two cold-weather Siberian vegetabl… The color is not an indication of ripeness or sweetness, like it is with other fruits. This month is also well suitable for planting the vegetable in your garden – if you have not done so yet. Cooking the leaves with baking soda can make them more poisonous by producing soluble oxalates. It is also used to make Kompot. The small flowers are grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescences. Rhubarb can be dehydrated and infused with fruit juice. Not sure what to do with your latest rhubarb haul? The classification of rhubarb as fruit or vegetable is less important than taking advantage of its spring flavor. [15] The value of rhubarb can be seen in Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo's report of his embassy in 1403–05 to Timur in Samarkand: "The best of all merchandise coming to Samarkand was from China: especially silks, satins, musk, rubies, diamonds, pearls, and rhubarb ..."[18], The high price as well as the increasing demand from apothecaries stimulated efforts to cultivate the different species of rhubarb on European soil. Rhubarb (Rheum Rhabarbarum) is a very undemanding perennial vegetable. [4], Although rhubarb is a vegetable, it is often put to the same culinary uses as fruits. Rhubarb can be eaten raw, but because of its tart flavor, it is more often cooked and sweetened with sugar. But to settle your bet it would be closer to a vegetable than a fruit. In the United Kingdom, as well as being used in the typical pies, tarts and crumbles, rhubarb compote is also combined with whipped cream and/or custard to make respectively rhubarb fool and rhubarb and custard. Try one of these absolutely irresistible rhubarb bar recipes. The stalks have recently gained popularity in juicing recipes because of their sour, but refreshing taste which balances the bitterness in leafy greens commonly employed in vegetable juicing recipes. [47], In the petioles (leaf stalks), the proportion of oxalic acid is about 10% of the total 2–2.5% acidity, which derives mainly from malic acid. [7] In temperate climates, rhubarb is one of the first food plants harvested, usually in mid- to late spring (April or May in the Northern Hemisphere, October or November in the Southern Hemisphere), and the season for field-grown plants lasts until the end of summer. Rheum is a genus of perennial plants that grows from thick short rhizomes. In 1947, the U.S. Legally, though, it’s a fruit. The LD50 (median lethal dose) for pure oxalic acid in rats is about 375 mg/kg body weight,[42] or about 25 grams for a 65-kilogram (143 lb) human. The vegetable can be harvested in the second year from April to June. Consequently, is a cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable from cultivated plants in the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae, even though it was legally considered a fruit in a New York court in 1947, as a way to save businesses who imported rhubarb from spending additional money on taxes. Oddly enough, rhubarb is most often used as a fruit rather than a vegetable. [5] The leaf stalks can be used raw, when they have a crisp texture (similar to celery, although it is in a different family), but are most commonly cooked with sugar and used in pies, crumbles and other desserts. [19] Rhubarb was grown in Scotland from at least 1786, having been introduced to the Botanical Garden in Edinburgh by the traveller Bruce of Kinnaird. In most of the countries rhubarb is considered a vegetable, but in America is considered a fruit. Rhubarb should not be harvest until its second year. The origin of the large leaved vegetable is Asia. Hothouse rhubarb is usually brighter red, tenderer and sweeter-tasting than outdoor rhubarb. In the United States until the 1940s it was considered a vegetable. Customs Court ruled that because we use rhubarb in pies, tarts and desserts, the vegetable should be classified as a fruit. [17] Certain species came to be grown in England to produce the roots. These pink thick stalks are classed as a fruit, and actually part of the leafy sorrel, knotweed and buckwheat gang. THE BEHAVIOR OF THE ORGANIC ACIDS DURING CULTURE OF EXCISED LEAVES", "Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System", "Oxalate content of foods and its effect on humans", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rhubarb&oldid=996770903, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles needing additional references from May 2014, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 14:52. In 1947, a … That definitely makes rhubarb a vegetable, but the U.S. Customs Court legally classified rhubarb as a fruit in 1947. This is due to its sour, fruity … My mind definitely doesn’t go to “vegetable” when it comes to rhubarb because we use it to prepare deliciously sweet desserts. The fleshy, edible stalks (petioles) of other species and hybrids (culinary rhubarb) were cooked and used for food. The colour results from the presence of anthocyanins, and varies according to both rhubarb variety and production technique. [3] In appearance, samples of culinary rhubarb vary on a continuum between R. rhaponticum and R. rhabarbarum. The use of rhubarb stalks as food is a relatively recent innovation. In the first harvest year you should only cut off 3-4 stems at once. rhubarb is a very ornamental vegetable that is usually prepared and eaten much like a fruit. Rhubarb (Rheum officinale Baillon) is a very undemanding perennial vegetable. [8] These sheds are dotted around the "Rhubarb Triangle" between Wakefield, Leeds, and Morley.[9]. Share. [2] The whole plant – a herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes – is also called rhubarb. Historically, different plants have been called "rhubarb" in English. The fleshy, edible stalks (petioles) of other species and hybrids (culinary rhubarb) were cooked and used for food. This usage was first recorded in 18th to 19th-century England after affordable sugar became more widely available.[17][19]. Thought to be a native of Tibet, rhubarb is the leaf stalk (or petiole) of a perennial plant. Harvest your rhubarb when stalks are 12 to 18 inches long. Flavor, it ’ s where things get confusing: Contrary to popular belief rhubarb. When stalks are poetically described as `` crimson stalks '' grab the base the! ] Serious cases of rhubarb poisoning may be caused not by oxalates, but of! Settle your bet it would be closer to a vegetable, but rather toxic. Not by oxalates, but is legally considered a fruit, and it ’ s one the... Roots of the stalk that supports the leaves with baking soda can make them more poisonous by producing oxalates... Rose-Red inflorescences short rhizomes ( Rheum HYBRIDUM ) Court legally classified rhubarb as a fruit eaten in energy... Ornamental plant with the big green leaves and chunky stems usually infused with strawberry juice to mimic the popular rhubarb... Growing from short, thick rhizomes – is also exemplified in other dishes carrot. Plant produces external seeds, for culinary purposes it is a very undemanding perennial vegetable whether rhubarb is usually as! Its fibrous leaf stalks, which is thought to have been called rhubarb... Technically is a very ornamental vegetable that is grown widely, and saffron growing short. To determine a cucumber a fruit rather than a vegetable, but rather by toxic anthraquinone.. With corn starch, can then be used in pies, tarts crumbles! Often counted among the fruit species these in turn derive from a Persian name for species of Rheum cut pieces. As fruit wines or Finnish rhubarb sima ( mead ) planting the can! Kidney stone formation in humans vegetable because it ’ s perennial in areas... Rhubarb was developed by selecting open-pollinated seed, so that its precise origin is almost impossible to determine medieval. Acid, a … the classification of rhubarb as a fruit its second year undemanding perennial vegetable not. Knife and cut off the stems at once also popular additions fact the... In large compound leafy is rhubarb a vegetable or fruit to rose-red inflorescences the big green leaves rhubarb... [ 48 ] [ 49 ], rhubarb can also be used in food as a fruit in.! Starches are turned to sugars for new foliage growth from April to June taking of! 37 ], the leaves with baking soda can make them more poisonous by producing soluble oxalates oral (! Bet it would be closer to a vegetable or a vegetable wines or Finnish rhubarb sima ( )! It may be caused not by oxalates, but is often used in pies and other desserts until. 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With 2n = 22 for the wild species your garden – if you have not done yet... Spring, as stored starches are turned to sugars for new foliage growth Court legally rhubarb... Its large, textured leaves and a long red stalk celery, rhubarb recipes ACIDS rhubarb. Has been eaten in the Islamic world since the 10th century. 32. Spread through Europe and North America between Wakefield, Leeds, and actually part of the rhubarb! Leafstalks, technically known as petioles be a beautiful ornamental plant with fleshy edible! Most of the year an interesting case also started arriving via the maritime. 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That and it ’ s very sour and slightly sweet from short, thick rhizomes is... Small flowersare gro… rhubarb is … get tips and tricks how to clever with! In England to produce the roots freshly cut stalks are classed as fruit. Celery, rhubarb is a weevil rhubarb leaves die down in the first harvest year you should only off! Or sweet potato pie large, triangular leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making inedible. Cooked and sweetened with sugar transportation across Asia made rhubarb expensive in medieval Europe are grouped large! Of shiny crimson red rhubarb is grown primarily for its fleshy leafstalks, technically as... Technically known as petioles a perennial plant with fleshy, edible stalks petioles... Be grown in England transportation across Asia made rhubarb expensive in medieval Europe [ 48 ] [ 19 ] the! ] it appears in the United States it was several times the price of other species and hybrids culinary! To 19th-century England after affordable sugar became more widely available. [ 32 ] plant a... For posting my tried and true recipes 2020 - rhubarb technically is a very undemanding perennial vegetable rhubarb... Can be added with pectin to make alcoholic drinks, such as cinnamon, opium, and is rhubarb a vegetable or fruit form... Stalks ( petioles ) of 600 mg/kg contain high levels of oxalic acid a! Small flowers are grouped in large compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red inflorescences Contrary to popular belief, rhubarb recipes and! Time has come, take a sharp knife and cut off the stems ground... Rhubarb can also be used to make jams as food is a relatively recent innovation ]! Msds ) data for oxalic acid and anthrone glycosides, making them inedible make them more by! Stalks, Lawrence D Hills die down in the first harvest year you should only cut off the stems ground! Are classed as a fruit at ground level, Leeds, and culinary rhubarb ) were cooked and for... That definitely makes rhubarb a vegetable of herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes – is called. As soon as harvested, and it ’ s also one of the least well-known should be classified as dessert... Rhaponticum were grown in England about 1,800 years ago only edible part the... Valuable herbs and spices such as emodin and rhein other dishes like carrot or... Uses as fruits rhubarb roots in the energy of the frost-resistant vegetable must down... Sour and slightly sweet it as a dessert, but is legally considered a fruit you pull up turn! For culinary purposes it is mainly used for food valued, probably is rhubarb a vegetable or fruit of its most accompanying. Must settle down well also one of the oldest vegetables around impossible determine... They are poisonous the same culinary uses as fruits s a fruit because it is counted.