The drug rheum is prepared from the rhizomes and roots of another species, R. officinale, known as "medicinal rhubarb" or "Chinese rhubarb" (ITIS 1999c).
Rhubarb is indigenous to Asia, and many suggest that it was often used by the Mongolians; particularly, the Tatars tribes of the Gobi.
Rhubarb first came to America in the 1820s, entering the country in Maine and Massachusetts and moving west with the settlers (Waters et al.
Another species, the Sikkim rhubarb (R. nobile), is limited to the Himalayas.
Rhubarb is used as a strong laxative and for its astringent effect on the mucous membranes of the mouth and the nasal cavity.
Grown primarily for its fleshy petioles, commonly known as rhubarb sticks or stalks rhubarb is a vegetable that plays at being a fruit.
Cooked with strawberries or apples as a sweetener, or with stem or root ginger, rhubarb makes excellent jam.
The term rhubarb is a combination of Greek rha and barbarum; rha being a term that referred both to the plant and to the Volga River (McGee 2004, 366).
Rhubarb can successfully be planted in containers, so long as the container is large enough to accommodate a season's growth.
The many varieties of cultivated rhubarb more usually grown for eating are recognized in general as Rheum x hybridum in the Royal Horticultural Societies list of recognized plant names.
The rhubarb represents an aspect of human creativity.
The color of the rhubarb stalks can vary from the commonly associated deep red, through speckled pink, to simply green.
The green-stalked rhubarb is more robust and has a higher yield, and the red-colored stalks are more popular with consumers.
A number of varieties of rhubarb have been domesticated both as medicinal plants and for human consumption.
Rhubarb is ready to be consumed as soon as it is harvested, and freshly cut stalks will be firm and glossy.
Rhubarb may also be combined with strawberries (a traditional flavor combination in the United States) or with ginger (Herbst 2001).
Rhubarb is now grown in many areas and thanks to greenhouse production is available throughout much of the year.
Rheum, the rhubarb genus, is a genus of flowering plants that grow from thick short rhizomes.
The color results from the presence of anthocyanins, and varies according to both rhubarb variety and production technique.