14 Rhubarb Varieties (Different Varieties of Rhubarb)

Fresh rhubarb on a chopping board.

Deep crimson Rhubarb is thought to be the sweetest by gardeners and pie makers. However, Rhubarb’s color has little to do with its flavor. If bright red Rhubarb is your thing, you’re in luck. Rhubarb is available in a variety of colors, including pink and speckled. Green rhubarb variants are often sweeter and more productive than red rhubarb variations. Rhubarb is the edible, fleshy stalks of Rheum species and hybrids (culinary Rhubarb), which are cooked and eaten. Rhubarb refers to the entire plant, which is an herbaceous perennial with thick, short rhizomes.

Rhubarb is widely grown, and it is available for much of the year because of greenhouse cultivation. “Hothouse rhubarb” is Rhubarb grown in heated greenhouses and is often accessible in consumer markets in early spring, before outdoor cultivated Rhubarb. In comparison to outdoor Rhubarb, hothouse rhubarb is a usually brighter red, tenderer, and sweeter tasting.

Rhubarb is one of the first food plants to be harvested in temperate areas, usually in late spring (April or May in the Northern Hemisphere, October or November in the Southern Hemisphere), and the season for field-grown plants lasts until the end of summer. Rhubarb is a perennial plant that is suitable for both novice and professional gardeners. Rhubarb will grow year after year, providing you with several harvests with little effort on your part.

Rhubarb varieties for the garden include the following:

Holstein Bloodred Rhubarb

If you’re looking for a traditional red rhubarb, Holstein Bloodred is a fast-growing variety. The stalks are luscious and vivid red. Holstein is a champion grower, with a single plant producing 5-10 pounds of stalks! Each plant reaches a height of four feet and a width of five feet. These are enormous plants with a lot of Rhubarb, as you might expect.

This is an excellent option if you enjoy Rhubarb and want to sell any surplus. Holstein is an heirloom variety, which means it has been around for a long time. It’s a vigorous plant that continuously yields well year after year.

Glaskins Perpetual

Glaskins Perpetual is a rhubarb variety that dates back to circa 1920 in Brighton, England. They’ve got long, bright red stems with a great flavor, and a lot of juice is produced.

Glaskin’s is one of the few options for late-seasoning Rhubarb. Because it has less oxalic acid, it is ideal for harvesting in the late summer. Raw Rhubarb’s strong flavor comes from oxalic acid. Cooking rhubarb loses the majority of the Rhubarb’s flavor. Glaskin’s thrives in zones 3 through 9, but it prefers milder climates in the summer.

You can usually take a modest harvest the first year, but be sure to leave the most of it behind. You can anticipate a considerably bigger harvest the next year. At maximum maturity, this cultivar is only two feet tall and wide. This Rhubarb can be grown in containers because it’s small.

Cherry Red

This is a different type of red Rhubarb. Cherry Red Rhubarb has long, thick stalks with a soft, sweet flavor. It’s ideal for gardeners who are wary of Rhubarb because of its bitter reputation.

Cherry Red thrives in USDA hardiness zones 2-8, and it grows well in places like northern California. It can grow up to three feet tall and three feet broad in your garden, making a big impact. For maximum development, this cultivar prefers full sun to light shade. From April to June, it can be harvested.

Chipman’s Canadian Red Rhubarb

Cherry-red stems appear on this rhubarb cultivar. The stalks of Canadian Red Rhubarb have a sweeter, juicier flavor with less tartness than those of American Red Rhubarb. This type matures to a height of three to four feet and a width of three to four feet.

Canadian Red may be grown in zones 3-8, although it thrives in Manitoba, Canada, and other comparable climates. For this reason, this is an excellent choice for northern gardeners. It should be planted outside in the autumn, winter, or early spring. As soon as the earth thaws, go ahead and do so. From April to June, you might anticipate a harvest. Once you’ve planed the crown, you should wait at least a year before harvesting.

MacDonald’s Canadian Red

You can freeze, can, and bake with this crimson kind of Rhubarb. MacDonald’s Red produces large, aggressively growing stalks. They’re regarded for their great yields, resistance to wilt, and root rot resistance. This cultivar’s stalks are a vivid scarlet hue, making it ideal for pies and jams. Desserts require less sugar due to the sweetness of the stems. This cultivar should be planted in good, well-draining loamy soils. Between April and June is when you should be able to harvest.

Colorado Red

The color of Rhubarb is one of the things that sets it apart in the garden. People’s eyes are drawn to the redness, although most of these rhubarbs aren’t red inside out. The gorgeous red color of Colorado Red Rhubarb, also known as Hardy Tarty, runs the length of the stem. Because of their color, these stalks, which are about the size of celery, perform well in jellies and jams. A red liquid is produced when a Colorado Red Rhubarb is juiced. With this variety, you can make some stunning jelly.

Hardy Tarty is a warm-weather cultivar. However, it’s only listed for zones 3–8, which is suitable for gardeners in both the south and the north. It reaches a mature height and width of two to three feet, and it prefers a sunny location.

Riverside Giant

Riverside Giant is a good choice if you want to sample a green rhubarb variety. This type has tall, thick green stalks and is cold-hardy. If grown in a cold frame, it can tolerate temperatures as low as -40°F, making it hardy up to 2b. Zones 2 through 7 are suitable for Riverside.

Riverside Giant grows taller and wider than other types, which is one of its distinguishing traits. It has the potential to grow to be five feet tall and four feet wide. On the negative, it’s one of the slowest-growing rhubarb cultivars, with a three-year delay between harvests.

Victoria

Victoria rhubarb in a vegetable garden.

Victoria is one of the most popular rhubarb types globally because it was the first to be used in a recipe. It’s still the most common type nowadays. This type, created in 1837 at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, was the first to use Rhubarb in British and American cuisine. You may use ‘Victoria’ in various desserts, savory dishes, sauces, jams, and even punch, thanks to its plump red and green stems and sweet, faintly acidic flavor.

This heirloom cultivar thrives at both high and low elevations, and it’s a breeze to grow from seed. So much so that it’s the type of plant you should choose to grow indoors in the winter for a summer transfer to the garden.

German Vine

Do you want to wow guests who come to your yard with a rhubarb variety? If that’s the case, you’ll need German wine. Green stems with pink speckles give it a distinctive appearance. It’s also one of the sweetest rhubarb varieties available.

German Vine Rhubarb is a hybrid that, as the name suggests, is excellent for creating wine. The wine made from this plant is said to taste like rose wine by those who have tasted it. This kind is one of the sweetest varieties. You may use it to make a sauce for ice cream or other desserts.

At full maturity, this cultivar grows to be only feet tall and two to three feet broad, making it a smaller plant than others. It thrives in containers and small garden beds because of its little stature. You can harvest the first year after planting a root ball or crown division in the spring.

Crimson Red

Crimson Red is a wonderful choice for folks who live in the Pacific Northwest because it thrives in wet, cool conditions. In Oregon and Washington, it develops vivid red stems that withstand the rain. These stalks have a delicious sweet-tart flavor. If you don’t reside in the Pacific Northwest, this cultivar grows well in USDA zones 3 through 8, and it thrives in both sunny and overcast, rainy conditions.

Plant the bare root balls in the fall, or two to four weeks before the last frost date in the winter. Crimson Red takes a year to mature and will grow to be three to four feet tall and three feet broad when fully matured. Harvest the stalks between April and June.

Kangarhu

This cultivar’s name is simply charming. Kangarhu yields beautiful crimson stalks with a distinctive red tint, and the stems retain their color after cooking.

This variety thrives in zones 4 through 8, making it ideal for gardeners in the Midwest and South. Red and acidic, these stalks are a sour delight. When fully grown, the plant reaches a height and width of three feet. Kangarhu can be harvested from late spring to early fall, and it thrives in part shade or full sun.

Prince Albert

Prince Albert is a century-old heritage rhubarb variety. When cooked, the stalks turn a rose pink color. Gardeners enjoy this cultivar as a jam or pie filling.

The stalks are larger and juicier than other types, and they have a tart-sweet flavor. Prince Albert Rhubarb may be grown in zones 3-8 and harvested from early April to late May. In the right conditions, these plants can grow to be three to four feet tall and wide.

Timperley Early

Gardeners adore Timperley Early because it’s a versatile cultivar that matures quickly. Depending on the temperature and where you reside, these plants can be ready as early as March. Timperley resists most illnesses once grown and produces stalks that are over 24 inches tall.

Another advantage of Timperley Early is that it allows you to harvest a limited amount in your first year. Timperley is an exception to the rule that not all forms of Rhubarb should be harvested the first year. Then, in the second year and for the next ten years, you can expect aggressive growth.

Sunrise

Sunrise Rhubarb is distinguished by its lovely pink stalks, which are thicker than the usual rhubarb stalk. It’s a great all-around choice for gardeners because it works well for pies, jellies, canning, and freezing. Sunrise freezes and cans remarkably well, making it great for individuals who enjoy harvesting Rhubarb to store for later use. This is owing to its extra-sturdy, thick pink stalk, which does not turn mushy or nasty even after three months in the freezer.

Perfect for anyone who wants a rhubarb pie but doesn’t have any fresh stalks on hand in the dead of winter! You’ll be able to enjoy fresh rhubarb stalks even in the dead of winter. When fully mature, Sunrise Rhubarb grows to be three feet tall and wide. It grows well in zones 3–8, and you can harvest it between April and June.

The best rhubarb kinds for your garden are determined by what you want to do with them. Are you planning on selling it? Do you like to bake with Rhubarb, or do you prefer to freeze it for later use? These are the questions you must ask in order to make the best decision. Thankfully, each of these variations is fantastic and tasty in its own way. Plant a few in your garden and see what happens.

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