Turkey rhubarb: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on turkey rhubarb

Rheum palmatum is a member of the Polygonaceae family. The plant can grow a jointed stalk as high in stature as six to ten feet. The stalk will produce loosely branched clusters of flowers along the tips. They will bloom yellow or white and mature into a red color. The plant's jagged, hand-shaped leaves are rather large, growing in width of at least two to three feet.

The plant flowers from June to July, and the seeds ripen from July to September.

common names & nomenclature
The plant's common name rhubarb comes from the old French reubarbe, from a shortening of medieval Latin rheubarbarum, an alteration of rhabarbarum which means "foreign rhubarb," from Greek rha, which also means "rhubarb" + barbaros meaning "foreign."

Also known as:
chinese rhubarb, turkey rhubarb, indian rhubarb, da-huang, ta-huang, amla-vetasa

Turkey rhubarb: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting turkey rhubarb

Turkey rhubarb grows in scrub and rocky places and by streams in sun to part sun. Also found in western and northern China on slopes and valleys at elevations of 1500 to 4400 meters.

Prefers a deep, fertile, moderately heavy, humus rich, moisture retentive, well-drained soil.

Divide turkey rhubarb plants in early spring or autumn. The rootstock can be divided up using a sharp spade or knife. When cutting, make sure that there is at least one growth bud on each division. Larger divisions can be planted out directly into their permanent locations. Turkey rhubarb can also be grown by seed.

Turkey rhubarb roots are harvested in October. Plants should be at least six years old, once harvested they are then dried for later use.

Store dried turkey rhubarb root pieces and powdered turkey rhubarb root in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Turkey rhubarb: Where in the World
habitat and range for turkey rhubarb

Rheum Palmatum is native to the regions of western China, northern Tibet, and the Mongolian Plateau.