The Gunnera gallery:

Images and an introduction to the plant family Gunneraceae

Plant parts






Gunnera perpensa









Gunner insignis (syn. G. killipania)



An emerging leaf of Gunnera tinctoria

The petiole, with its many warty processes (but these are not sharp 'thorns'). These thick petioles can be cooked and eaten as a slightly acidic tasting vegetable, as reported ethnographically in Chile.

 The upper surface of the Gunnera (Panke) leaf with is highly alveolar texture (like an inverse honey come). In the center of the many of the areole (spaced between the fine veins) the tissue is not only riases but there are additional hill-like warts, often with glands, called colleters. For a detailed consideration of warts, glands and other surface features see the literature by Wilkinson. Some discussion can also be found in Fuller & Hickey (2005, p. 25), which provides details of venation patterns in the leaves of  Gunnera species of all sizes.

The leaves are often sloped such that rain water drains towards the centre and leaf base and drips along the petiole towards the growing apex of the plant. As seen below in a Berkeley Gunnera tinctoria.

The damp sheltered "bowl" of a young Gunnera leaf may provide a refuge for some some fauna, such as this tree-frog


Below, a leaf of Gunnera macrophylla from Ambrym, Vanuatu (photo courtesy of Dylan fuller) 





Some literature



Gunnera mixta (Milligania)


Gunnera monoica