Gunnera magellanica - Lam.
Common Name
Family Gunneraceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Damp grassy places[187]. Moist sheltered places from sea-level to 1000 metres[69].
Range S. America - S.W. Argentina, S. Chile and the Falkland Islands.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Gunnera magellanica
Gunnera magellanica
Physical Characteristics
Gunnera magellanica is a PERENNIAL.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required)The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

One report says that the fruit might be edible[177]. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter[200].
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known


Other Uses
A carpeting plant that roots as it spreads, it is suitable for ground cover when spaced about 45cm apart each way[208].
Cultivation details
Requires a damp humus rich soil in a sunny position or semi-shade[1, 200]. Prefers a cool moist position[208]. Plants are hardy to at least -10°c[187]. The plant has a creeping root and spreads to form extensive patches[187]. 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]. Male and female flowers are on separate plants[188]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].
Seed - best sown as soon as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a sandy mix in a cold frame[200]. The seed can also be sown in the spring[188]. 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]. 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.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Botanical References
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
BILL WALLACE   Fri Dec 1 2006
I am going to try to grow this plant for its huge leaves. Near the top of this page says it grows .02 meters by 1 meter. ERROR! .02??? More likely 2 meters if anything.
Ken Fern, Plants for a Future   Sat Dec 2 2006
In answer to Bill, this species is a low growing species that spreads to make a reasonable ground cover. The large leaved species in this genus are Gunnera manicata and G. tinctoria. These produce very large leaves (they can be 1 metre wide) on large stems that can be 2 metres tall.
Elizabeth   Tue Nov 3 2009
Be careful with this one because if it is very happy it will swamp anything in it's path! I have just had to relocate a large patch generated from one plant in order to rescue other perennials that it was climbing over! Great ground cover though for around shrubs in damp soil. The weeds don't stand a chance! One online nursery had it's spread as 30cm, this is NOT true.
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Subject : Gunnera magellanica  

Plant Uses

Edible Uses
Medicinal Uses
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