This is an extremely large plant which forms great big stands, particularly in the west of Ireland. It grows to 2 metres tall and bears tiny, green-brown, 1mm-long flowers in inflorescences of loose, narrow panicles on cone-shaped spikes up to 1 metre long, in July and August. The leaves are often more than 2 metres across and are lobed and toothed. They are on stout, prickly stems often 1-2.5 metres high. It favours damp ground, usually growing beside water and is a perennial introduction from Brazil. It belongs to the Gunneraceae or Giant-rhubarb family. This species is not considered to be invasive, unlike its ‘cousin’, Gunnera tinctoria.
I first came across this species in Connemara, Co Galway in 2012 and photographed it in Co Wexford in 2012.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre