Fun & Easy Science for Kids
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Rhubarb

 

Name a vegetable that’s eaten as a fruit. If you said rhubarb, you’re right. In the garden, rhubarb is a huge, luscious plant with big leafs. These leaves, along with the roots, contain oxalic acid and they’re highly poisonous.

The stalks, which can be red or green, are the only edible part of the plant. These stalks are very tart and acidic so they’re served with sugar like a fruit.

 

Fun Facts

  • Rhubarb was used anciently in Chinese medicine to aid digestion.
  • Oxalic acid, the stuff that makes rhubarb leaves poisonous, is found in ink, metal polish, and stain remover.
  • Rhubarb can grow in most parts of the U.S., but it thrives in Alaska because of the long, long summer days. Rhubarb there can grow over 5 feet tall.
  • Rhubarb is a perennial. That means you don’t have to plant it from seed. If taken care of, it will come back every spring for at least 10 years.
  • Rhubarb likes cool weather and is best harvested in mid-spring to early summer.
  • Try this quick, simple snack: wash a stalk of rhubarb. Dip it in sugar or honey and eat it raw.
  • Rhubarb is delicious in pies, cakes, and jam. Combine it with strawberries or raspberries.

 

Vocabulary

  1. Edible: okay to eat
  2. Acidic: high in acid
  3. Perennial: a plant that does not die in the winter

 

Questions and Answers

Question: Is rhubarb nutritious?

Answer: Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin C.

 

Learn More

Martha Stewart can teach you how to grow rhubarb.

 

Close

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