3. Rheum spiciforme Royle, Ill. Bot. Himal. Mts. t.78: 315 & 318. 1836; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 55. 1886; Kitamura, Pl. W. Pak. & Afgh. 45. 1964; Rech.f. & Schiman-Czeika, l.c. 29; R.R.Stewart, l.c. 212; Hara in Hara et al., Enum. Fl. Pl. Nep. 3: 179. 1983; Grierson & D.G.Long, Fl. Bhutan 172. 1983.
R.moorcroftianum auct. non Royle: Meisn. in DC., Prodr. 14(1): 36. 1856.
Perennial, stemless herb with 1-2 cm thick rhizome. Leaves all radical, petiole 7-15 cm long, very hard, usually glabrous; ochreae ± equalling the petiole, brownish, blade very leathery, orbicular, broadly ovate or cordate, nerves prominently radiating, red-brown; 15-30 cm long and broad, glabrous or slightly stellate hairy below. Inflorescence pedunculate, glabrous, 10-30 cm long spike-like raceme. Flowers small, 2-3 mm across, pedicel 2-7 mm long; bracteate, bract minute, ovate, scarious. Perianth segments small, entire, obtuse, 2-3 mm long, yellowish or somewhat reddish. Fruit broadly ellipsoid or oblong, 0.5-1.5 cm long, rounded at the apex; wings membranous, broader than the disk.
Type: Kherang Pass, Inglis.
Distribution: Bhutan, Xizang, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A rare species in our region. The root is purgative. Leaf stalk is eaten as raw or cooked, used as rhubarb.