Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)

Picture it...

A Finger in the Pie Plant

1. The picture above shows the beautiful shades of reds, pinks and purples you might find in a garden, for example in rhubarb, violas and heuchera leaves. The viola flowers are in a round bottomed flask, a vessel often used for doing chemical reactions. There is also a glass funnel, which is used for transferring liquids or for separating liquids from solids when used in combination with a filter paper. Inside the glass funnel sits an anthocyanin molecule, chrysanthemin (cyanidin 3-glucoside). Anthocyanins make up a large family of molecules which give rise to the reds, pinks and purples which we see in garden plants and flowers, notably in the stems of rhubarb.

Rhubarb is the gardeners friend; early to fruit and easy to maintain. Yet there is much more to rhubarb than crumble and pie. Cultivated by the Chinese for thousands of years as…

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