This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Of this remarkable species of rhubarb, till now unknown in our gardens, I am gratified in being in possession of fresh seed for the first time. This is a native of Sikkim. where it was originally found by Dr. Hooker, in whose valuable Himalayan journals it is thus described: "The individual plants of Rheum nobile are upwards of a yard high, and form conical towers of the most delicate straw-colored shining semi-transparent concave imbricating bracts, the upper of which have pink edges; the large bright glossy shining green radical leaves, with red petioles and nerves, forming a broad base to the whole. On turning up the bracts the beautiful membranous fragile pink stipules are seen like red tissue paper, and within these again the short branched panicles of insignificant green flowers. The root is very long, often many feet, and winds among the rocks; it is as thick as the arm, and bright yellow inside. After flowering the stem lengthens, the bracts separate one from another, become coarse red-brown, withered and torn; finally, as the fruit ripens they fall away, leaving a ragged-looking stem covered with panicles of deep brown pendulous fruits.
In the winter these naked black stems, projecting from the beetling cliffs, or towering above the snow, are in dismal keeping with the surrounding desolation of the season. - Garden.