Rhubarb Varieties


“Are there different types of rhubarb?  Thanks, ~K. on FB”

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My goodness, yes!  There are tons of varieties of rhubarb.  Here are some of the most popular varieties that are grown in the U.S.:

  • Canada Red – Smallish red stalks throughout, long thick petioles, Introduced in Canada and very popular, Stems are shorter and more slender than many seedling types but very tender. High quality and good red color, produces few seed stalks.
  • Chipman – Also known as Chipman’s Canada Red, red stalks.
  • Cherry Red – Also known as CherryEarly Cherry – Vigorous, red which is reportedly grown in California, producing long, thick, deep-red stalks. stalks.
  • Crimson Red – Also known as Crimson CherryCrimson WineCrimson. This is reportedly the only variety of consequence in Oregon. It produces brightly colored red stalks with the unique characteristic of being red throughout under normal temperature and moisture conditions of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Egyptian Queen – Fine flavor, medium size.v
  • Fraulein Sharfer Torte – Produces very fat, red, tart leaf stems for use in cooking.  This is a select German cultivar with superior culinary attributes.
  • German Wine – green petioles, similar to Victoria but slightly more vigorous and more intense in color, typically with a darker Pink speckling on a green stem.
  • Glaskin’s Perpetual – Bright red, can be pulled 1st year after sowing.
  • Hawke’s Champagne – Reliable early variety.
  • Holstein Bloodred – Vigorous grower, crops juicy dark Bloodred sticks.
  • Linnaeus – The standard for earliness, thin tender skin. Comparatively small stalks.
  • Macdonald – Also known as Macdonald’s Canadian RedMacdonald Crimson – , Large stalks, deep, Vigorous and upright-growing, Resistant to wilt and root rot, Probably the most common variety available, bright red, Highly productive, extremely vigorous and wilt resistant, Very good red color, excellent for pies, canning and freezing, pink petioles and medium to heavy seed stalk production, another pink type which produces well.
  • Mammoth Red – Also known as The Giant, Stott’s Mammoth or simplyMammoth. Tremendous crop, plant grows 4-5 feet (1.25-1.5 m) high. Stalks are deep red.
  • Mammoth Green – I have no information on this variety.
  • Monarch – A Scotch import from around 1907. Large stalks with rough skin. Resembles Mammoth Red.
  • Paragon – I have no information on this variety.
  • Prince Albert – Early variety, provides good crop of long stalks.
  • Redstick – Excellent flavor.
  • Riverside Giant – Cold-hardy, vigorous producer with large diameter long green stalks.
  • Ruby – I have no information on this variety.
  • St. Martin’s – A variety of English origin. Ready about 1 week later thanLinnaeus.
  • Strawberry – pink petioles, red petioles, medium to heavy seed stalk production, Large sticks with both interior and exterior rose color, very similar to Victoria and may be the same variety, pink stalks.
  • Sunrise – A pink variety. Sunrise rhubarb was a selection from open-pollinated seed of the Ruby variety of Rhubarb. Sunrise has a thicker stalk than Ruby, is more productive, has a higher quality and is more suitable for forcing. Sunrise was selected in the 1940’s and is still grown today in Nova Scotia.
  • Sutton – Also known as Sutton’s Seedless, Large stalks, pink petioles.
  • Tilden – Also known as Tilden’s Canada Red. A strain that has been selected for many years by the Tilden family. Not as upright as the Macdonald strain.
  • Tottle’s Improved – I have no information on this variety.
  • Timperely Early – Superb flavor, a very early variety good for forcing.
  • Valentine – Thick red stalks, Excellent for home gardeners, long red stalks, Deep red petioles that retain their color when cooked, Vigorous, Known for its red petioles and the production of few or no seed stalks.
  • Victoria – Also known as Large Victoria, Easily raised from seed, pull after one years growth, juicy, medium sized stalks, green, a popular forcing type, greenish leaf stalks, a heavy producer, excellent for commercial purposes, red and green stalks, One of the newer more intensely colored rhubarbs, It has large, thick, red stalks with good productivity, sweet and not tough or stringy, green petioles, heavy seed stalk production, Late forcing variety, producing large sticks of good flavor, produces large stalks of excellent quality, long, round with smooth ribs. It develops pink speckling on a light green stalk with the pink color being more intense at the bottom of the stalk, fading to a solid green near the top.
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    © Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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8 thoughts on “Rhubarb Varieties

    • The only place that I know of is R.V. Rogers in the United Kingdom. At least as of about 5-7 years ago, they did sell to U.S. customers. Their website is: http://rvroger.co.uk

      Another resource that may be helpful is the Baker Creek/RareSeeds.com folks. If they don’t have it, they will know where to get it. They have helped me in the past — my thing was Milwaukee Market Muskmelon.

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