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BRASSICA oleracea 'Chidori Red'

Image of Brassica oleracea 'Chidori Red' (Acephala Group, CHIDORI SERIES)

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

BRASSICA oleracea 'Chidori Red'( Acephala Group, CHIDORI SERIES)

Plant Common Name

Chidori Red Ornamental Kale, Ornamental Kale

General Description

Bringing texture and violet-red and green color to the garden in the frosty fall, winter and spring seasons, ‘Chidori Red’ is an ornamental kale bred for showy leaves and descended from plants native to the coastal regions of southern and western Europe. It is a short-lived hardy perennial typically grown as an annual.

The light green to blue-green leaves form a low rosette. As temperatures cool, the foliage develops robust violet-red to deep pink-red colors, concentrated in the central new leaves. Over-wintered plants may produce sprays of four-petaled lemon yellow flowers on tall stems in spring or early summer.

Grow 'Chidori Red' in full to partial sun and fertile, organic-rich garden soil with ample drainage. To grow from seeds, sow in early spring before temperatures heat up or in fall six weeks prior to the last frost. A fall-grown crop tastes better if harvested after frost. Approximately 30 days is required for harvest of the foliage for eating, and it has a tougher texture and stronger flavor than traditional edible cabbage greens.

Best when viewed from above, ‘Chidori Red’ makes an ideal companion to asters, pansies and mums in the autumn garden, and violas and spring bulbs in late winter and spring. Though it survives subfreezing temperatures, very cold nights eventually kill the plant to the root, resulting in rotting of the plant. Chilly temperatures are required to develop the leaf colors. Without them, the leaves may remain blue-green.

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

    9"-15" / 22.9cm - 38.1cm

  • Width

    10"-15" / 25.4cm - 38.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Europe, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Northern Africa

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • 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)

    Red, Blue Green, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Blue Green, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Fall) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Blue Green, Gray Green, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Winter) Modifier

    Variegated

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • 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, Edging, Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes