rhubarb in season

When is Rhubarb Season?

Rhubarb is typically in season from April to June in the United States and Canada. However, the exact timing of rhubarb season can vary depending on your location and climate. In colder regions, rhubarb may not be ready until later in the spring or early summer, while in warmer regions it may be available earlier in the season. If you’re not sure when rhubarb is in season in your area, check with your local farmers’ market or grocery store.

Understanding Rhubarb

Rhubarb Basics

Rhubarb is a unique plant that is often used in pies and other desserts. It is a perennial vegetable that is grown for its edible stalks, which are typically red or green. Rhubarb is a cool-season crop that is usually harvested in the spring or early summer. It grows best in areas with cool summers and cold winters.

When planting rhubarb, it is important to choose a location that receives full sun or partial shade. The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Rhubarb plants should be spaced about 3 feet apart to allow for proper growth.

Rhubarb can be harvested when the stalks are about 10-15 inches long. To harvest, simply grab the stalk at the base and pull it out of the ground. Be sure to leave a few stalks on the plant to allow it to continue growing.

Rhubarb Varieties

There are many different varieties of rhubarb, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most common varieties include:

  • Crimson Red: This variety has bright red stalks and is known for its sweet flavor.
  • Victoria: This variety has green stalks with a pink blush and is known for its tart flavor.
  • Cherry Red: This variety has deep red stalks and is known for its large size.

When choosing a rhubarb variety, it is important to consider your climate and growing conditions. Some varieties may perform better in cooler climates, while others may thrive in warmer areas.

Nutritional Information for Rhubarb

NutrientAmount per 100g% Daily Value*
Calories21 kcal1%
Carbohydrates4.54 g2%
Fiber1.8 g7%
Sugars1.1 g
Protein0.9 g2%
Fat0.2 g0%
Vitamin K29.3 µg37%
Vitamin C8 mg13%
Calcium86 mg9%
Potassium288 mg8%
Magnesium12 mg3%
Anthraquinone GlycosidesHigh

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Data from USDA.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the variety and preparation of rhubarb. Rhubarb is often used in desserts but should be consumed in moderation due to its oxalic acid content.

Is Rhubarb a Fruit or Vegetable?

Rhubarb is often treated as a vegetable in culinary terms due to its common use in savory dishes and its tart flavor.

However, botanically speaking, rhubarb is classified as a vegetable. This is because it’s the stem of the rhubarb plant (Rheum rhabarbarum) that is typically consumed, and stems are considered plant structures rather than fruits.

Despite this botanical classification, rhubarb is commonly used in cooking as if it were a fruit, often in sweet dishes like pies, jams, and desserts, due to its tart flavor that pairs well with sugar.

Rhubarb Season

Seasonal Availability

Rhubarb is a cool-season crop that typically grows in the spring and early summer. In most regions, the first rhubarb plants start to emerge in late March or early April. As the weather warms up, the stalks grow thicker and the leaves become greener.

The peak season for rhubarb varies depending on your location. In the United States, rhubarb is typically available from late April through June. In the United Kingdom, the season starts a little earlier, with rhubarb available from January through May.

If you’re interested in growing your own rhubarb, keep in mind that it’s a perennial plant that requires a period of dormancy during the winter. To ensure a healthy crop, it’s important to plant rhubarb in the fall or early spring.

Peak Harvesting Time

The best time to harvest rhubarb is when the stalks are thick and firm. As a general rule, you should wait until the stalks are at least 10 inches long before harvesting. This allows the plant to store enough energy for the next growing season.

Once you’ve harvested your rhubarb, it’s important to use it quickly. Rhubarb stalks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, but they’re best when used within a few days.

Rhubarb Season in Different Continents

North America

Rhubarb season in North America typically starts in late April and lasts until early September. However, the season may vary depending on the state. For example, in Alaska, rhubarb season may start in May and end in August. In California, the season may start in January and end in June.

Click here for a detailed table of rhubarb season for each state
StateRhubarb Season
AlabamaApril – June
AlaskaMay – August
ArizonaMarch – June
ArkansasMarch – June
CaliforniaJanuary – June
ColoradoMay – July
ConnecticutApril – June
DelawareApril – June
FloridaJanuary – March
GeorgiaApril – June
IdahoMay – June
IllinoisApril – June
IndianaApril – June
IowaMay – June
KansasMay – June
KentuckyApril – June
LouisianaFebruary – April
MaineMay – June
MarylandApril – June
MassachusettsMay – June
MichiganMay – June
MinnesotaMay – June
MississippiMarch – June
MissouriApril – June
MontanaMay – June
NebraskaMay – June
NevadaMarch – June
New HampshireMay – June
New JerseyApril – June
New MexicoApril – June
New YorkMay – June
North CarolinaApril – June
North DakotaJune – July
OhioApril – June
OklahomaApril – June
OregonApril – June
PennsylvaniaApril – June
Rhode IslandMay – June
South CarolinaApril – June
South DakotaJune – July
TennesseeApril – June
TexasFebruary – May
UtahMay – June
VermontMay – June
VirginiaApril – June
WashingtonApril – June
West VirginiaMay – June
WisconsinMay – June
WyomingJune – July

South America

In South America, rhubarb season typically begins in October and lasts until January.


In Europe, rhubarb season typically starts in April and lasts until June. However, in some countries, such as the Netherlands, the season may last until August.


In Asia, rhubarb season typically begins in April and lasts until June.


In Australia, rhubarb season typically starts in June and lasts until September.

Buying and Storing Rhubarb

When it comes to buying and storing rhubarb, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that you get the best quality and flavor out of this seasonal vegetable. Here are some tips to help you choose and store your rhubarb.

Choosing Quality Rhubarb

When you’re at the store or farmer’s market, look for rhubarb stalks that are firm and crisp. Avoid stalks that are wilted, limp, or have brown spots or blemishes. The color of the stalks can vary from green to red, but the color doesn’t necessarily indicate ripeness or quality.

If you’re buying rhubarb from a farmer’s market or local producer, ask about the variety of rhubarb they’re selling. Some varieties are sweeter than others, and some are better for cooking or baking than others.

Storage Tips

Fresh rhubarb should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days of purchase. If you won’t be using it right away, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week by wrapping the stalks in a damp paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag.

You can also freeze rhubarb for later use. To freeze, wash and cut the stalks into small pieces, then blanch them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and cool the rhubarb, then pack it into freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready to use frozen rhubarb, there’s no need to thaw it first. You can add it directly to your recipe, but be aware that frozen rhubarb may release more liquid than fresh rhubarb, so you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly.

By following these tips for buying and storing rhubarb, you’ll be able to enjoy this seasonal vegetable at its best.

Rhubarb Uses

Rhubarb is a versatile plant that can be used in various ways. Here are some of the most common uses of rhubarb:

Culinary Applications

When cooking with rhubarb, it is important to note that only the stalks are edible. The leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.

Here are some popular culinary uses of rhubarb:

  • Pies: Rhubarb pie is a classic dessert that is easy to make. Simply chop the rhubarb stalks into small pieces, mix with sugar and flour, and bake in a pie crust.
  • Crisps and crumbles: Rhubarb can also be used in crisps and crumbles. Simply mix with sugar and oats, and bake until golden brown.
  • Sauces: Rhubarb sauce can be used as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, or pancakes. Simply cook the rhubarb with sugar and water until it becomes a thick sauce.
  • Jams and jellies: Rhubarb can also be used to make jams and jellies. Simply cook the rhubarb with sugar and pectin until it thickens, and then can it for later use.

Medicinal Uses

Rhubarb has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. It is believed to have a number of health benefits, including:

  • Digestive health: Rhubarb is a natural laxative and can help relieve constipation.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Rhubarb contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Lowering cholesterol: Rhubarb has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Rhubarb can be consumed in various forms for its medicinal benefits, including:

  • Tea: Rhubarb tea is a popular way to consume rhubarb for its health benefits. Simply steep chopped rhubarb stalks in hot water for 10-15 minutes, and then strain and drink.
  • Supplements: Rhubarb supplements are available in pill form and can be taken daily for their health benefits.
  • Juices: Rhubarb juice is another way to consume rhubarb for its health benefits. Simply blend chopped rhubarb stalks with water and sugar, and then strain and drink.

It is important to note that while rhubarb has many health benefits, it can also have side effects if consumed in large quantities. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using rhubarb for medicinal purposes.