Gunnera may be evergreen or herbaceous rhizomatous perennials, and range from small creeping plants to very large with huge leaves. The flowers are small, borne in narrow panicles or spikes and may be followed by small berry-like fruits.
G. manicata is a very robust herbaceous perennial, forming a spreading clump of lobed, rounded, rough-textured leaves with spiny stems 1-2m in width. Tiny red-brown flowers are borne in erect panicles to 1m in height.
Grow in permanently moist, humus-rich soil in full sun or partial shade. Shelter from cold drying winds. Protect crowns by mulching during the winter months.