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BRASSICA oleracea (NAGOYA SERIES, Acephala Group)

Image of Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group, NAGOYA SERIES)

James H. Schutte

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

BRASSICA oleracea( Acephala Group, NAGOYA SERIES)

Plant Common Name

Ornamental Kale

General Description

Bearing large colorful chrysanthemum-like heads of heavily ruffled leaves, ornamental kales in the Nagoya Series make wonderful ornamental plants for the fall and winter garden. Typically grown as annuals, they derive from Brassica oleracea, a fleshy-leaved, short-lived perennial from coastal areas of western and southern Europe.

Wide as dinner plates, the many-leaved rosettes of large ruffled leaves have broad green or purplish-green rims with rose, white, or red centers. Colors are strongest when nights are consistently cool. The rosettes are borne near ground level on short stout stems which elongate in hot weather. In their second year, plants produce sprays of four-petaled lemon yellow flowers in spring or early summer.

Ornamental kales prefer full sun and fertile, organic-rich garden soil with ample drainage. Although tolerant of subfreezing temperatures, they will perish in severe cold. Plants in this series are especially cold-tolerant. Ornamental cabbages and kales do best in cool weather, becoming leggy and drab in warm conditions. Sow seeds in the chill of early spring or in fall several weeks before first frost. Plants mature about 2 months after sowing. Cultivars in this series may also be purchased as plants.

These easy to grow plants are beautiful in fall gardens and containers. Combine them with asters, pansies and mums in the autumn garden, and violas and spring bulbs in late winter and spring. They make spectacular "cut flowers" for fall decoration. The edible leaves add color and zest to salads or stir-fries.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-14" / 30.5cm - 35.6cm

  • Width

    12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Western Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    White, Red, Purple, Blue Green, Dark Green, Pink, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    White, Red, Green, Purple, Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green, Pink, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    White, Red, Green, Purple, Chartreuse, Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green, Pink, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    White, Red, Green, Purple, Chartreuse, Blue Green, Gray Green, Dark Green, Pink, Burgundy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Edging, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No