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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: sewhappyrtr
Date: 05-13-2007, 09:45 PM (1 of 7)
Hello again., just wondered if anyone here has grown mums outside in the garden, and if they have come back yet this year. We always had mums come back each year and this year we are not getting very many. I heard it is the year when the mums aren't going to come back. Has anyone else heard that.
Also,, anyone grow rhubarb?? We had a late freeze in central Illinois, and I heard that you can't pick and use the rhubarb now, since it froze.. It makes it poisenous to use.
My dh covered mine when it got so cold, so mine didn't freeze.. do you think I can still use it???
User: sewhappyrtr
Member since: 08-01-2006
Total posts: 43
From: Patty22
Date: 05-14-2007, 07:21 AM (2 of 7)
My mums are just starting to peek through and they are very thick this year in comparison to some sparse years. We are in central NY and it is still quite cold in the mornings - 38 degrees right now.

As far as the rhubarb - if it was poisonous when frozen, there wouldn't be any freezer jam or rhubarb cut up for pies later. When I was a kid we were sent outside to play all day and my mother would lock the door (I know, when I write this it sounds terrible). Anyway, we would get really hungry and eat the rhubarb raw........ to this day I can't stand the thought of eating rhubarb, no matter how much sugar is added to the recipe. Wonder where this misinformation is coming from as I can't even think of a vegetable or herb that transforms from edible to poisonous.
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: temom
Date: 05-14-2007, 08:04 AM (3 of 7)
I've never given much thought to my outside mums. They definately grow better when given fertilizer and water, but other than that they are on their own.

Rhubarb doesn't grow where I live, but I used to live in Pennsylvania, and have never heard anything about not eating rhubarb if there was a freeze. Now I believe the green stalks are toxic, but not when they are ripe. But that was a long time ago, and that may not be true. Why don't you check with your county extension agency, as they can give you facts, not folklore like my grandma used to give.
As kids, we used to "raid" rhubarb patches after dark while playing hide "n seek, and never gave any thought to early spring freezes.

Sorry I can't help you, but I'm so glad that there are other gardeners here!
User: temom
Member since: 01-19-2007
Total posts: 410
From: Patty22
Date: 05-14-2007, 09:02 AM (4 of 7)
Never eat rhubarb leaves, cooked or raw. Eating the leaves can be poisonous because they contain oxalate. This toxin, plus another unknown toxin also found in the leaves, has been reported to cause poisoning when large quantities of raw or cooked leaves are ingested

This warning was from

and then from

Alternative Names
Rheum officinale poisoning
Poisonous Ingredient
Soluble oxalate and another, unknown poison

Where Found:
The leaves (leaf blade) of the rhubarb plant. The stalk can be eaten.

Burning in the mouth
Breathing difficulty
Burning in the throat
Eye pain
Stomach pain
Red colored urine
Kidney stones

Well we all learn something new everyday
User: Patty22
Member since: 03-29-2006
Total posts: 1194
From: Mom of Six
Date: 05-14-2007, 09:39 AM (5 of 7)
I was always told the leaves are poisonious.
We used to eat it from the garden also until we figured out that if we waited there was more to cook. I love rhubarb sauce with lots of sugar.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: sewhappyrtr
Date: 05-14-2007, 02:41 PM (6 of 7)
I think I was misunderstood. I meant to say.. if there was a freeze as the rhubarb is starting to grow,, you shouldn't eat it ... it may be poisinous. not for the rhubarb that you pick and then freeze for later use.
I knew the leaves were poisinous at any time.
I guess I will call the county extension offc and find out.
User: sewhappyrtr
Member since: 08-01-2006
Total posts: 43
From: Pudge99
Date: 05-14-2007, 02:56 PM (7 of 7)
I was curious about this topic so I looked around and found some reference about Rhubarb poisoning. Says you should not eat Rhubarb that has been frostbitten. I would think, and this is just a guess, that frostbitten rhubarb would not grow properly. So I think that if your rhubarb looks normal it is probably OK. I think the issue is more a early frost thing rather than a late frost. In that the frost kills the full grown plant and allows the poison in the leaves to run back down into the stalk. The information I found also stated that you should cut the leaves off immediately ater harvesting probably for the same reason.
Pictures of my successes and failures
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User: Pudge99
Member since: 10-30-2001
Total posts: 1375
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