Siberian Kale 'Red Russian'

Brassica napus var. pabularia

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brassica (BRAS-ee-ka) (Info)
Species: napus var. pabularia
Cultivar: Red Russian
Additional cultivar information:(aka Ragged Jack)
Synonym:Brassica oleracea



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama (2 reports)

Tallassee, Alabama

Long Beach, California

Menifee, California

Montrose, Colorado

Panama City, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Volcano, Hawaii

Normal, Illinois

Iowa City, Iowa

Grand Rapids, Michigan (2 reports)

Long Beach, Mississippi

Aurora, Missouri

Las Vegas, Nevada

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Brooklyn, New York

Haines Falls, New York

Charleston, South Carolina

Brazoria, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Suffolk, Virginia

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 18, 2015, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

I 'm also very, very positive. Its taste is so much sweeter than other cabbages. Young leaves are delicious in salads or on a sandwich for lunch. I use it in different recipes: stews, quiches and so on. Yoo can cut and come again for more new leaves. The plants are healthy and do well in any weather.


On Sep 27, 2014, DreamOfSpring from Charleston, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

For this extraordinary plant, I wish there were a higher category than 'Positive'. I have about 6 plants of this growing in a 2ft D pot where it has been growing beautifully since I planted it some 10mo ago! I have eaten tons of it and have lots in the freezer, and it is still growing.

I planted this as part of a packet of seeds labeled Mesclun salad blend. A more detailed list of the seed contents showed that it included Red Russian Kale. As I live in an area where winters are usually quite mild, I planted the seeds in a 2ftD pot in Dec for early spring salad greens. In late spring when the temperature started to climb, the rest of the plants in the salad blend quickly went to seeds leaving behind only the Red Russian Kale, about 6 small plants which grew quite large by ear... read more


On Jul 1, 2013, iowhen from Iowa City, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

It will overwinter here in a sheltered bed. It's the most tender of the kales, and keeps its flavor. My fave!


On Apr 19, 2013, LilyToes from Ouray, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

Not only do I love the flavor of this plant, but I have an interesting thing to report: I left a few Red Russian Kale STALKS in the garden last summer. This summer - it's actually... putting out new leaves. Amazing! Talk about a plant that's cold hardy. It went through a long snow covered winter in the rockies - and I actually just harvested a bunch of leaves for lunch the other week. HA! =)


On Apr 13, 2013, IllinoisChemist from Normal, IL wrote:

Have grown this one for 3 years now. Has always produced large plants that tolerate the heat well. Harvesting the outer leaves, we have been able to harvest from a plant until into the early winter in central Illinois.


On Dec 16, 2012, RiverNymph from the Mountains, CO (Zone 4a) wrote:

Odd. I purchased this species of Kale from Sustainable Seed Co, however, mine turned out quite a bit different from the photos. I'll add a picture. Wonderful plant. Leaves were longer than my arms (I have long arms). Delicious in stews/soups/saute's. Highly recommend.


On Sep 7, 2011, jimhazel from Bremerton, WA wrote:

Puget Sound area, so relatively mild conditions but we over-wintered this plant. It was very productive and a delicious addition to the garden. When it went to seed, we added the blossoms to the salad and enjoyed that also. It produced a lot of seed (which got into our compost!) and so I expect seed saving strategies would be successful. Delicious (we do cut out the heavier stems) as a salad and I presume also cooked. I strongly recommend this plant.


On Jul 26, 2010, Sherilou from Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Red Russian Kale is mild, tender, yet flavorful and easy to grow. Relatively pest free compared to the other greens in my garden. I'm growing some in full sun and some in part-shade. Both locations are doing well.


On Dec 7, 2009, carminator1 from mobile, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Great kale to grow. I love to use it in salads, but you can cook it as well. Very versatile plant and winter hardy.


On Apr 2, 2009, jujubetexas from San Marcos, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I planted this kale in San Marcos, TX during the fall and accidentally dropped some of the seeds outside the garden. The plants outside garden grew larger and faster than the ones in the garden. We have a blackland clay here and it seemed to love it. I threw some more seeds on the ground this spring and sure enough, they are taking off much faster than the ones I just planted. They are good if cooked in olive oil with a bit of soy sauce. Fast growing. I havent tested them in the Texas summer heat yet.


On Mar 1, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Hardy to -10 degrees. Also known as 'Ragged Jack'.


On Aug 21, 2002, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

The leaves of Russian Red are a blue green with reddish veining. The deeply lobed and ruffled leaves are extremely tender to eat. This is an heirloom variety and gets its name from the belief that Russian traders brought it to America. Harvest: 50 days.