Sea Kale

Crambe maritima

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crambe (KRAM-bee) (Info)
Species: maritima (muh-RIT-tim-muh) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Denver, Colorado

Falmouth, Maine

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Port Norris, New Jersey

Marion, North Carolina

Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

Norwich, Vermont

Blaine, Washington

Twin Lakes, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 16, 2011, jtellerelsberg from Norwich, VT (Zone 5a) wrote:

I planted 4 sea kales in my garden (Norwich, Vermont, zone 4b/5a) this past spring into raised beds created by sheet mulching over lawn. I started with small plants started from root divisions. Unlike the stereotype for perennials ("the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap"), these all have been leaping from the start growing shockingly large and healthy in their first season. I have been eating some of the un-blanched leaves and enjoy them. They remind me most of collards. Leaves from three of the plants have a touch of bitterness to them, but the fourth plant seems to lack all bitterness. I will follow this next year and if it continues to hold true, I will use that preferred plant to create new root divisions. In this first year they did not flower... read more


On Apr 25, 2009, DMersh from Perth
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Quite a common plant on the shingle beaches of the UK coast.


On Jun 26, 2005, scooterbug from Tellico Plains, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love this plant. Hard to believe but it has the nicest 'evening' scent that perfumes the whole garden . Almost burumansia -like in fragrance.
Good smelling Kale ? ... hahahaha . Go figure.
The over five feet tall flower stalk bloomed for about 3 weeks .
I was very happy to see it does comeback in the Spring without any special treatment such as mulching .

I have 3 of these scattered about as magnets for chewing critters. I'd rather see holes in these leaves than my prized hybrids.


On Jun 20, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

Dutch name is Zeekool..(transl. Sea Cabbage)..It is flowering wild in Dutch coastal areas.. highly endangered and protected.. I have 'nt seen it growing in wild myself in Netherlands but I 've seen lots of it growing along the Danish coasts ..just on the stony and sandy beach. ..their natural habitat. In the garden it can be grown as a ornamental vegetable in not to heavy soil that is deeply made loose. It roots very deep. The 'bleached' (new growth forced in complete darkness during early spring) growth can be harvested ..taste is similar to aspergus. The little flowers are honey scented...the seedpods are round and look like little peas...each 'pea' contains one seed..So after flowering the plant is still nice to see ..the dried sprays of those seeds are nice in dried flowers arangement... read more