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Are rhubarb leaves really poisonous?

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell

The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous when ingested, the stalk a culinary delight, and the roots were long revered for their medicinal properties.

Rhubarb is often sold with some leaves on the stalks; simply trim them off and discard. (They are not toxic to touch). Rhubarb is a good source of vitamin C as well as other nutrients, but because it is mouth-puckeringly tart, it is generally cooked with generous amounts of sugar (or another sweetener).

Enjoy a few of our top-rated rhubarb recipes: Rhubarb Sorbet, Lattice-Topped Rhubarb Pie, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart.