This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Rhubarb has served many useful purposes. When the old folks were younger it served with their mothers what the soothing syrups and other popularities do for us. As "pie plant," we all know how valuable it is to every one; except those who in Philadelphia some years ago got a few months in prison for "selling as something new, under the name of 'wine-plants,' what they knew were old things called rhubarb plants;" and even to these it may have been valuable as a lesson, which, however, scamps are slow to learn.
Now we are to have a rhubarb on our lawns as an ornamental plant, - a very pretty species having been introduced to cultivators by Haage & Schmidt, of Erfurt. It is not a new plant to botanists, being well known even in the time of Linnaeus as Rheum palmatum. But it is only recently that it has been induced to leave its East Indian hills to minister to the pleasures of gardening. Our illustration gives the general effect of the plant in flower. The individual flower will bear examining for curious structure, as the enlarged drawing shows. After the fruit is over, the brown winged fruit, given also of the natural size in our figure, keeps the plant attractive till the fall. Of course the leaves will lie down in winter.