Friday, May 25, 2012

Gunnera tinctoria

 As a calming start to the long weekend, I walked across Golden Gate Park after finishing at the library and spent some time in the Arboretum. Large swathes of Gunnera tinctoria (Chilean rhubarb) were coming into insistent bloom. A little sign claimed that this is one of the most ancient plant forms still surviving. Each gigantic leaf grows on a separate stalk. Each blossom-cluster rises on its own stalk, as well.

The embryo leaf in the foreground {above) looked like it had risen from under the ground only about five minutes before I arrived.  

I can see why this plant has survived for zillions more years than most others.  It is so ambitious and it keeps itself so busy.