Something Totally Foreign to Alaskan Eyes

This fascinates me every year so I’m sharing pictures for my Alaska family.  I don’t remember ever seeing rhubarb bloom at home and rhubarb grows everywhere!  Here, it bolts almost immediately after it starts growing in the spring.  You have to cut off the flower stalk and then it goes back to producing leaves.  This is a good thing, seeing as the leaf stalks are the delicious part.  I usually don’t let them get this tall but I was sick in bed  for the past week and just last night felt well enough to go outside.  And look at that!

026 (800x533)I’ve always cut off the stalks before they produced flowers so it was fun to see them, even if that indicates neglect on my part. They are really beautiful!

025 (800x533) 028 (800x533)When you trim off the flower stalks, they’re hollow, tempting me to want to make a really giant smoothie.

027 (800x518)

I think I need to apply some compost to the plants as I just read that poor nutrition can be one thing that encourages rhubarb to bolt.  Another is warm weather and we’ve had plenty of that the past few days with highs in the 80s.  I have all my rhubarb planted in partial shade and I’m hopeful that will help it survive our almost-too-hot summers.  Rhubarb and I are kindred spirits really – we’re both from the north and we prefer cool weather!

P.S. Wondering what to do with rhubarb?  Start here! And remember! The leaves are poisonous!

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