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Of all the many rhubarb varieties, this one continues to be an outstanding variety that is really hard to beat. Queen Victoria was widely popular among the English people during her reign of sixty-four years. That might help explain why a lot of plant varieties were named in her honor during her lifetime.
Victoria rhubarb is one that remains popular today and is still readily available to American gardeners. Introduced in 1837, it is a green variety. On the whole, many home gardeners seem to prefer the reds. But, this green variety has largely held its own over the years.
Victoria rhubarb was bred by Joseph Myatt, who owned Manor Farm in Deptford, England. He was a plant breeder who specialized in fruits. Early on this was called Myatt’s Victoria rhubarb but over the years it became known mostly as Victoria.
This rhubarb was the favorite variety of the Victorian era. It was one of the varieties sold by the Robert Buist Co. of Philadelphia. I found it listed in their 1943 edition of the Buist Garden Guide. The catalog indicated it was a popular variety at that time.
The renowned horticulturist, Liberty Hyde Bailey, described it in his books as being among the most popular of the English heirloom varieties and a leading choice in America.
Especially suitable for wine making, Victoria rhubarb is widely popular among commercial growers in England and America and also among American home gardeners. This is a high yielding variety that can be grown from seeds or crowns.
The plant continues to increase in productivity for many years once it is established. One reason that it is able to achieve such good yields is due to the fact it produces very few flowers. The upright, vigorous plants has very large, broad stalks up to 2˝-3 feet long and quite thick—three inches across.
The thick skin is green with some red blush or tinges. The tender, juicy flesh is slightly more tart than most red fleshed rhubarbs. But, it is still considered one of the best tasting rhubarbs due to its rich, pleasantly tart taste.
In addition to the standard Victoria rhubarb that is green, some catalogs also list a Victoria Cherry, which is said to feature more red color than the others.
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