Gardeners’ Chronicle p. 106 (Feb 16, 1907)
Burbank's Crimson Winter Rhubarb
A. G.

Amongst the advertisements in a former issue of the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society will be found one, occupying two pages, descriptive of "Burbank's Crimson Winter Rhubarb." The advertiser, after stating that he has "secured an importation of the latest and most valuable vegetable novelty produced by 'the notorious Wizard of the West' and raised in California four years ago," proceeds to give a quotation from the June number of the World's Week in praise of his wares. To this I desire to add a postscript, which has a most important bearing upon the identity of the article in question. In the course of a letter published in a later issue of the same magazine Mr. Lloyd, a seedsman of Sydney, N.S.W., states;

"In the June issue of your interesting magazine there is a chapter devoted to Mr. Burbank's creations. … and there is a statement in the opening paragraph to which I take exception. It is only recently the King ordered from him a new variety of Rhubarb. It was obtained by Mr. Burbank from the wild Australian Rhubarb. …

Now I do not think Mr. Burbank could have stated that he obtained it from the wild Australian Rhubarb, because we do not know of any such, but what we do know is that we supplied Mr. Burbank with seed of a variety which I believe was originated by a grower in Australia, and is known as Topp's Crimson Winter Rhubarb, and is the variety referred to by your contributor. ... I am under the impression that an English firm include it in their list and call it some special name of their own." I think the case an interesting one, throwing as it does such a strong light upon the origin of this particular "latest and most valuable vegetable novelty." A. G.

[Is there a wild Australian Rhubarb? We think not, and we are not aware that Mr. Burbank has ever claimed this variety as his production.—Ed.]

Burbank: Giant Winter Rhubarb (1914)

Rhubarb Bibliography