Rhubarb in the summer is a delightful treat. But in the winter it’s much harder to come by. Winter rhubarb is forced to grow by starving the stalks of sunlight and therefore preventing photosynthesis. The result is that the stalks grow very quickly because they are searching desperately for sunlight, which they never receive because they are grown in dark sheds which are kept warm.
The result of winter rhubarb’s dark growing is that the stalks are redder and the leaves yellow instead of green because they contain no chlorophyll. Winter rhubarb is also said to be sweeter than summer rhubarb, which has a distinctive tartness that many people find refreshing when temperatures are high. What’s even more interesting is that, due to their speedy growth, the stalks make an interesting popping noise as they shoot up.
Just the idea of hearing a plant grow is something most people haven’t even thought of! Have a listen to these strange, almost beatbox-like sounds in the video below.