Native Region: Southern Brazil, Columbia
Zone Range: 07-10
Preferred Climate: Temperate
Harvest Date: Sunday 16 October, 2011
Seed count: 60-75
Gunnera manicata, native to the Serra do Mar mountains of southeastern Brazil, is perhaps the largest species, with leaves typically 1.5-2 m (5-6 ft) wide, but exceptionally long, up to 3.4 m (11 ft), borne on thick, succulent leaf stalks (petioles) up to 2.5 m (8 ft) long.
A true giant among perennials, this plant can produce leaves almost 3m (10ft) across on stems as long. Good soil with steady moisture, by a pond or stream perhaps, and a great deal of space, is all you need to enjoy this magnificent plant.
It germinates best in very moist, but not wet, conditions and temperatures of 22 to 29°C. For maximum freshness, please keep seed refrigerated in its original packaging until it is time to plant. Sow seed in containers in a coldframe. Gentle bottom heat can improve germination, 16-20°C (60-70°F). Grow on in any good moist garden soil. Mulch the large crowns with the leaves in regions where winter temperatures are likely to drop below -5°C (20°F) A heavy mulch can help these plants survive -17°Celsius (0°F).