|DESCRIPTION: It is a perennial, herbaceous plant that looks like an overgrown rhubarb. In a sheltered positions and moist soils, the stem can be 1.5-2.5 m tall and the leaf up to 1 m across. USE: The young leaf stalks are edible; a black dye is obtained from the root; the root contains 9% tannin; the whole plant has medicinal properties; a very ornamental plant with huge leaves, it forms a slowly reading dense clump that is quit striking, but needs space GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: Gunnera, Chilean rhubarb, Chilean gunnera, Chilean 'ape'ape. FURTHER INF: It can be found in moist soils by lakes, meadows, marshes, bog gardens, woodlands, sunny edges, dappled shades, streams and rivers. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. It prefers a moist position in light shade sheltered from strong winds. It is native of Patagonia, Chile and found from southern Chile to Ecuador in western South America. It was introduced into England in 1849 and is now naturalized from cultivation in Europe.