Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sea Kale
Crambe maritima

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

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

14 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Perennials

Height:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Hardiness:
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

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Cream/Tan

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Dark/Black

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

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

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There are a total of 19 photos.
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Profile:

4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive jtellerelsberg 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, but my source for the plants (Permaculture Nursery) promotes them as a perennial source of mini-broccoli florets. The reports at Apios Institute describe them as tasting indistinguishable from true broccoli. I hope to be able to taste test the florets next year.

Most interestingly, while all my annual cole crops (green and red cabbage, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli) have been nibbled more or less by cabbage worms this year, I have not seen a single mark of any sort on the sea kale, which is planted fairly nearby to the annuals.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with this plant and highly recommend it as a productive, perennial edible.

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

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

Positive scooterbug 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.

Positive saya 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 arangements and give winter interest in the garden.
Plants can get very old ..up to twenty years is possible if they are kept well.

Regional...

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

Denver, Colorado
Falmouth, Maine
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Port Norris, New Jersey
Pennsburg, Pennsylvania
Norwich, Vermont
Blaine, Washington
Twin Lakes, Wisconsin



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