Nalga, Gunnera tinctora

nalga leaves closeup  

We found nalga growing abundantly throughout the south central portion of Chile and to a lesser degree in the more southern parts of the country. We have also seen it in the mountains of Costa Rica. It seems to grow best in disturbed areas such as roadsides or overgrazed meadows.

The flower stalk is a couple of feet long and the leaves, when fully grown can be 5-6 feet tall and of a size that might make the blade useful as a rain cape. We saw the leaf stalks being sold in the local markets and were told that it is eaten stewed, similar to the way we eat rhubarb.

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