Rhubarb Rust Spot: Treating Brown Splotches On Rhubarb
The following are some facts about rust spots on rhubarb:
1) They have been known since ancient times.
They were called “rust” because they look like tiny cracks or holes in the skin of the fruit. These rust spots may appear anywhere on the rind of the fruit, but most commonly they occur around the edges where there is less contact with air.
2) There are many different types of rust spots.
Some are small, others are large, and still others may even extend into the fleshy part of the rind. All rust spots look similar from one angle; however, each type looks slightly different when viewed under a microscope.
3) The rust spots themselves do not cause any harm to the fruit itself.
However, if left untreated they will eventually turn brown and fall off completely!
4) The rust spots are caused by a fungus called Ramularia.
It is found all over the world and it grows best in warm weather. When it comes to rust spots, the hotter the better! If you live in cold climates, then you might want to avoid getting russet colored fruits as these will likely die after being exposed too long.
5) Rust spots on rhubarb are usually very small and only affect a few berries at a time.
If you live in a very dry climate then the rind may be thicker than normal and as a result, the fruit inside will be sweeter than expected.
6) There is no cure for rust spots on rhubarb.
The best way to treat it is to cut off the affected areas and use the rest of the fruit right away. If you have large russet patches on your stalks then consider growing another type of fruit instead.
7) Another common myth is that you can use copper sulfate on your plants to prevent rust spots.
It won’t work, all it will do is kill the plants and make them taste bad.
8) If you want to slow down the effects of rust then keep your rhubarb plants well watered during dry periods.
Also, never let your plants grow in moist or soggy soil as this will make them more prone to other diseases.
9) If your plants are growing in the ground then you can always dig them up and trim off any diseased areas.
Then replant them in drier conditions.
10) It is not uncommon for all of the leaves on a plant to suddenly turn yellow and die. This is perfectly normal and will not affect the healthiness of the roots or the quality of the fruit. The roots will slowly grow new leaves over time.
11) One possible cause of a dying plant is too much fertilizer. It’s best to only apply small amounts on a regular basis rather than giving the entire root system a heavy dose every once in awhile. This will help to promote strong growth instead of only short term growth spurts.
12) Another possibility for diseased or dead plants is soil that has been heavily treated with chemicals or pesticides. Your best bet is to use organic methods as much as possible.
13) Certain types of rhubarb are more prone to rust spots than others. If you live in a very humid environment then try growing one of the more resistant varieties. They include: Victoria, Cardinal, Crimson, and Perfection.
14) The skin of the rhubarb stalks contain oxalic acid. This is what gives the stalks their signature sour taste. The older the stalk, the higher the concentration of oxalic acid. This is why some people feel that cooked rhubarb is much better for you than raw rhubarb.
15) It is possible to turn the oxalic acid in the stalk into sugar. This process is known as “oxalic acid to sugar conversion” or OAC for short. It is commonly used in New Zealand and Europe but it isn’t very common in North America.
16) Most people think that rhubarb originated in China but it originally came from Europe over 2,000 years ago. It was first introduced into China around 800 AD by way of Arab traders.
17) The original rhubarb plant had leaves that were toxic so early farmers in China bred it with a different species of edible plant. This is how the plant evolved into what we know today.
18) Another common misconception is that rhubarb stalks can be substituted for green beans in any recipe. This is false. Rhubarb stalks contain very little dietary fiber and far more sugar. They also contain high levels of oxalic acid which can upset your stomach if consumed in large quantities.
19) It is possible to make rhubarb wine but it takes a very long time and a lot of patience. The resulting wine does not taste very good so don’t try to make any for yourself.
20) There are more than 500 different types of rhubarb but only two types are used for cooking and the rest are only grown for ornamental purposes.
21) Most rhubarb species are native to China but there are other types that are native to other parts of Asia. The species that are used for cooking are the most toxic to humans.
22) There is a type of rhubarb that is known as Siberian rhubarb or Russian rhubarb that can actually be eaten raw. It grows in very cold conditions and can even be found naturally growing on the tundra.
23) Siberian rhubarb is almost white in color and tends to have a pink hue at the tips of the stalks. It does contain oxalic acid but in much lower quantities than other species. It also contains high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants.
24) The largest type of rhubarb only grows in Tibet and the Himalayas. It is primarily used for ornamental purposes but it can also be boiled down into a dye for clothing.
25) Today there are many different varieties of red rhubarb and they were bred in order to have stems that were not green. Green stalks can still be found on older plants.
26) Red rhubarb is most often found in markets because it is sweeter and considered to be better for cooking purposes. The stems of red rhubarb can be up to 10 times sweeter than the stalks of yellow or green rhubarb.
27) The leaves and roots of the rhubarb plant contain poisonous chemicals that can be lethal to humans and animals. In fact, every part of the plant other than the stem is poisonous.
28) The poisonous chemicals found in the rhubarb plant are primarily found in the leaves and roots but they can also be found in the stems to a lesser extent. These chemicals can be neutralized by cooking or drying the plant.
29) It is possible to eat the leaves and roots of the rhubarb plant if you don’t consume too much of it. Some people have been known to use the leaves in herbal teas and the roots to make a type of vodka. It can also be used as a flavoring for other foods or beverages.
30) The stalks can also be eaten after the poisonous chemicals have been removed. One way of doing this is to slice the stalks and place them in salt water overnight. The salt draws out the poisonous chemicals and can be drained off. The stalks can then be boiled and eaten like asparagus.
31) Wild rhubarb plants can grow to over seven feet tall but the ones found in gardens are often harvested so they are not allowed to reach their full height. These are known as “pie plants” and they are harvested in the spring and early summer.
32) It is not necessary to wait until the stalks are very red to pick them because they do not become any sweeter. They just lose nutrients as they sit around so it is better to harvest them as soon as they reach the desired color.
33) Rhubarb can be used to make wine and even rhubarb soda. When making wine you should remove the leaves and roots before fermenting the stalks.
34) The leaves of the rhubarb can be dried and brewed with black tea to create a very dark brew that tastes mildly of rhubarb. You can also grind up the dried leaves and use them as a topping for ice cream.
35) The toxic nature of the plant means that it has been used in some criminal activity. In an assassination attempt, a man tried to poison Napoleon with rhubarb given to him in strawberries. He didn’t eat them and instead handed them out to other people who also did not eat them.
36) A superfood today, rhubarb was once used as a medicine to fix digestive issues. It was often used to prevent or cure fluxes in the stomach.
37) The ancient Romans were said to have used the plant medicinally but they were also known to have enjoyed the taste of it. Emperor Tiberius was said to have eaten the stalks with honey.
38) The stalks were once used to make a pink dye for clothing. This is also when the name “rhubarb” came into use because it was a combination of “red” and “Barbary”.
39) Rhubarb pie has long been a food favorite in North America, especially in the state of Missouri where it is the official state dessert. The first rhubarb pie competition was held there in 1982.
40) There are about 40 different varieties of rhubarb that have been cultivated for culinary use but only one, the common garden rhubarb, is used for medicinal use.
41) The stems of rhubarb plants contain a toxin called oxalic acid. This is what causes the stomach upsets and could lead to death if too much is consumed. The leaves contain even more oxalic acid than the stems so it is not recommended that you consume them at all.
42) The most common variety of rhubarb in gardens and farms is called ‘Victoria’. It was named after Queen Victoria who grew the plant in her own garden.
43) A couple of rhubarb plants can supply you with plenty of stalks to eat and heal many people. It’s a good idea to grow some in your garden or find a patch in the wild to use for future medicinal needs.
44) Rhubarb is very easy to grow from seed. The seeds should be planted in early spring once the risk of frost has passed. You can also plant the seeds indoors about six weeks before you plan to transplant them outside.
45) Once the seedlings are a few inches high you should harden them off by placing them in a shaded area for an hour or two, then longer each day until they can remain outside all day. Transplant them into the ground once there is no danger of frost.
46) You can also plant rhubarb crowns. These are sold in spring and fall at most nurseries. Dig a hole for each one and make sure the crown (the swelling at the base) is covered with soil. Water it well.
Later, you can harvest stalks from the plants and eat them until you run out of crowns, then allow 3 years for new stalks to grow in.
47) The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous to humans and animals but can be used as organic pest control for your garden or home.
48) Even though the leaves and roots are poisonous to humans and animals the stalks are very nutritious and can even be used as a meat substitute. They can be eaten raw or cooked and have a slightly tart flavor.
49) Stir-frying rhubarb with apples is a delicious way to enjoy this vegetable.
50) In cooking, rhubarb is most often combined with other sweet ingredients such as sugar, honey or maple syrup. It is also used to make jams, pies, muffins and other desserts.
Sources & references used in this article:
Market diseases of beets, chicory, endive, escarole, globe artichokes, lettuce, rhubarb, spinach, and sweetpotatoes by HE Moline – 1987 – books.google.com
Market diseases of beets, chicory, endive, escarole, globe artichokes, lettuce, rhubarb, spinach, and sweetpotatoes by GB Ramsey, BA Friedman, MA Smith – 1959 – books.google.com
m ü^! fíM^ Market Diseases by E Endive, R Lettuce – naldc.nal.usda.gov