Delicious rhubarb - eat with caution.
- Blog Post by: Helen Yarmoska
- May 3, 2012 - 4:10 PM
I’m a true fan of integrating edibles into your landscape. In July, neighbors walking by my yard think I have a special plant as a back drop for my flowers -- nope, just yummy asparagus. There's another showy perennial to add texture and flavor to your garden -- rhubarb.
The large leaves of rhubarb lend texture and color to any garden. My neighbor has several plants and I’m lucky to be able to pick as much as I can eat! Yesterday, when I had a hankering for some rhubarb sauce on ice cream, I checked out her plants. No frost damage! Great!
Minnesota Master Gardeners received a notice from our State Director, Julie Weisenhorn, that rhubarb that has been frozen in the garden should not be eaten. What happens is that the oxalic acid that is prevalent in the leaves moves to the stalks. Evidently when humans digest oxalic acid, the acid readily combines with metals in your system such as calcium so those metals are not available for the body. It can also cause kidney stones… so stay away from frozen rhubarb!
Evidence of freezing can be noted by wilted leaves with black edges. These stalks should be cut off and discarded.
Then, pull some good stalks and make up some sauce!
What’s your favorite way to eat rhubarb?
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