Monday, June 21, 2021

Two Unusual Gunneras

Large leaf Gunneras seem to be extra popular in the UK this year, and there are a lot of questions and discussions floating around forums and Facebook groups about them. Mainly the discussions are centered around how to tell the difference between Gunnera manicata and Gunnera tinctoria.

I won't go in that direction as personally I've found such topics tedious, however I will highlight instead two lesser known and relatively obscure large leafed Gunneras that are starting to get into the exotic plant circulation here:

Gunnera insignis - from Costa Rica and the photo below was taken earlier this year at Tregrehan Gardens in Cornwall

Gunnera insignis

Gunnera killipiana - from Costa Rica and was collected at high altitude elevations by Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones. Photo was taken at their nursery Crug Farm Plants and was also featured in previous editions of Chelsea Flower Show

Gunnera killipiana

Both stunning big leafed plants and much more ornamental than their well established but hardier Brazilian (Gunnera manicata) and Chilean (Gunnera tinctoria) cousins.

Mark :-)


  1. Stunning is the right word! Could it be that these two species also remain on the smaller side?

    BTW, I still can't tell tinctoria from manicata!

    1. They're much more ornamental I think, although doesn't seem to get as big as manicata or tinctoria.

      BTW, Manicata and Tinctoria are still generally tricky to tell apart..

  2. I'd love to have a Gunnera of any species. Those leaves are fabulous. But huge leaves aren't common in dry as a bone climates like mine.

    1. That's the only thing, they do need a high moisture requirement. Although temperature wise it would do well in your area :)

  3. Oh those are both smashing! Gone are the days were I could fit either one into my garden I'm afraid (and who knows when they'll be available here!).

    1. They don't get as big as their popular cousins, and might be worth looking/asking at the Aladdin's cave in Sauvie Island ;)


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