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Sea Kale

Crambe maritima

Sea Kale was among Thomas Jefferson's favorite vegetables; he first planted seed of it at Monticello in 1809. Native to the seacoast of Great Britain, this hardy perennial of the cabbage family is grown for the early spring sprouts that arise from well established plants (2 to 3 years old). Sea Kale is also quite ornamental with blueish-green leaves and showy white flowers in summer.

Sea Kale has a pleasing, mild cabbage taste. At Monticello the shoots are often covered with large blanching pots as they emerge in spring. When the leaves get six inches high, they are cut from the ground and can be prepared like asparagus.

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Sea Kale.
Growth Type: 
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8
Location at Monticello: 
Vegetable Garden
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
April 22, 2002 to May 31, 2002April 22, 2003 to June 9, 2003May 1, 2004 to June 8, 2004May 2, 2005 to June 17, 2005May 5, 2006 to June 1, 2006May 15, 2008 to June 17, 2008May 11, 2009 to June 11, 2009April 13, 2010 to June 18, 2010May 10, 2011 to June 21, 2011May 3, 2012 to June 22, 2012May 23, 2014 to June 15, 2014April 22, 2019 to June 25, 2019March 30, 2020 to May 12, 2020


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