Gunnera tinctoria is an attractive, ornamental shrub that is native to Chile and Argentina. Growing 5 - 10ft tall, it is an ideal plant for garden beds, especially in frost-prone locations. It is well suited to full sun or semi-shade, and can also be grown in bog or aquatic conditions.
This exotic plant has many uses, both ornamental and edible. Its large foliage and prickly stems provide an interesting texture to the garden, whilst its small flowers give off a delightful scent in midsummer. Its edible young leaf stalks provide an interesting addition to a salad, while they can also be cooked as a vegetable. Furthermore, Gunnera tinctoria is a good source of dietary fiber, calcium and iron.
This robust shrub is strong and resilient, and incredibly easy to care for. It thrives in moist soil and requires regular watering, even during dry periods. With the right care, Gunnera tinctoria can produce an abundant yield of edible fruits, which are small, oval-shaped and purple-black.
In regions with colder climates, such as those in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7-9, Gunnera tinctoria can be grown in a pot to protect it from the cold. To do this, the pot must have adequate drainage and the soil, should be kept moist. Additionally, the plant must be shielded from strong winter frosts.