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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.
Growth Type: 
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3
Location at Monticello: 
Vegetable Garden
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
2002 Apr 22 to 2002 May 312003 Apr 22 to 2003 Jun 92004 May 1 to 2004 Jun 82005 May 2 to 2005 Jun 172006 May 5 to 2006 Jun 12008 May 15 to 2008 Jun 172009 May 11 to 2009 Jun 112010 Apr 13 to 2010 Jun 182011 May 10 to 2011 Jun 212012 May 3 to 2012 Jun 222014 May 23 to 2014 Jun 15
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Sea Kale.


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