Rhubarb is a general term used for the cultivated plants in the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. It is a herbaceous perennial growing from short, thick rhizomes. Historically, different plants have been called "rhubarb" in English.
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a vegetable that’s usually prepared and eaten like a fruit and is turned into pies, jams, jellies, and more. This cool-season crop, which is perennial in many areas, is grown for its fibrous leaf stalks that can make a wonderful tart treat. In addition, rhubarb can be a beautiful ornamental plant with its large, textured leaves and chunky stems. Rhubarb plants are generally hardy and long-lived, with some varieties growing for 20 years or longer. Plant in the early spring, but don’t start harvesting until the second growing season.