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Useful Temperate Plants

Gunnera magellanica

Lam.

Gunneraceae

+ Synonyms

Dysemone integrifolia Banks & Sol. ex G.Forst.

Gunnera falklandica Hook.

Gunnera integrifolia Blume

Gunnera plicata Vahl

Gunnera reichei Schindl.

Gunnera reniformis Gay ex Blume

Misandra magellanica (Lam.) J.F.Gmel.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Gunnera magellanica is a herbaceous perennial plant growing from a spreading, rhizomatous rootstock and forming a carpet of growth; the leaves are around 2 - 6cm wide, occasionally to 12cm, growing on stout petioles 5 - 22cm long and 3mm in diamete[
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to form a ground cover, and also has potential for use in soil stabilization and restoration projects.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 

Range

Western S. America - southwest Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and the Falkland Islands.

Habitat

Damp grassy places[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
]. Moist sheltered places; at elevations from sea-level to 1,000 metres[
69
Title
Flora of Tierra del Fuego.
Publication
 
Author
Moore. D. M.
Publisher
Anthony Nelson.
Year
1983
ISBN
0-904614-05-0
Description
Standard work for this part of S. America. Excellent details of habitat and a few notes on plant uses.
]. Found at elevations up to 3,800 metres in the tropical parts of its range, it descends to sea level in the temperate climate of southern S. America[
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitPerennial
Height0.20 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Gunnera magellania is a plant of higher elevations in the tropics, descending to sea level in the temperate zone.. It is not a very cold-tolerant plant, being able to tolerate short periods with temperatures down to about -10 to -15°c[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].
Requires a damp humus rich soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a cool moist position[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].
The plant has a creeping root and spreads to form extensive patches[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].
The top part of the inflorescence is male, the bottom is female and the middle is hermaphrodite according to one report whilst another says that the flowers are unisexual without saying if the two sexes are on the same plant[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Male and female flowers are on separate plants[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
].
It is believed that species of the genus Gunnera have existed for about 95 million years[
295
Title
PlantZAfrica.com
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.plantzafrica.com
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site giving detailed descriptions and uses of many S. African plants.
].
Gunnera species are unique in the plant realm through having a symbiotic relationship with a cyanobacteria (Nostoc punctiforme and others). This relationship provides nitrogen to the Gunnera and carbon to the cyanobacteria[
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
]. The genus Nostoc is cosmopolitan and common, so it is likely to be naturally present in the wet habitats in which Gunnera grows[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
,
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
].
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

One report says that the fruit might be edible[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter, but is carried in a bunch on a large infructescence[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The fruits are eaten by indigenous peoples of southern Chile and Argentina[
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

Gunnera species have a high potential for use in the recovery of lands affected by erosion, given their condition as colonizing plants that are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen through symbiosis with the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiform[
1922
Title
Gunneraceae
Publication
Flora Neotropica Monograph 109
Author
Mora-Osejo L.E., Pabón-Mora N. & González F.
Publisher
The New York Botanical Garden Press; New York
Year
2011
ISBN
978-0-89327-508-2
Description
 
].

Other Uses

A carpeting plant that roots as it spreads, it is suitable for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a sandy mix in a cold frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The seed can also be sown in the spring[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division as new growth commences in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2022-09-30. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Gunnera+magellanica>

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