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Mike's Blog - Day 122

River pumpkin or Wild Rhubarb, Gunnera perpensa.

And here in close-up.

This plant is widespread in tropical Africa from Sudan, Ethiopia, Zaire, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This sounds quite an exotic part of the world, but it's hardy to -10c and has stood a few winters now by the pond below the gazebo in the woodland garden.

Of course it’s a much smaller plant than the giant Rhubarb (Day 89), and not really very pretty, but it's an interesting plant. Gunnera are some of the oldest types of plant and are reputed to have been around for the last 95 million years. They also have a “blue-green algae” growing inside them which helps them get nitrogen, in return for being a host for the algae to live of course.

Didn’t get time to put something on the bamboo to pull it straight, its growing quite quickly now, day 20.