Can I pick rhubarb after June?

An old country lore says that you should not pick rhubarb after Midsummer (24th of June). But is that really true?

Even if the exact day doesn't matter, it is nevertheless recommended not to pick rhubarb too late. This has mainly two reasons.

1. Content of oxalic acid

In spring, the content of oxalic acid in rhubarb is lower than in summer and increases during growing season. The leaves contain about 700 mg oxalic acid / 100 g while the stalks have "only" 300 mg. The red stalks have a lower content than the green ones and should therefore be preferred. Here you will find more about reducing the content of oxalic acid.

2. Regeneration

Rhubarb is a perennial plant that needs lots of time for regeneration after harvest. Therefore you should not pick the rhubarb after June in order to give the plant the possibility to "recharge their batteries". And furthermore rhubarb procudes more fibrous material which leads to a "woody" taste.

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