Flowering Cabbage, Ornamental Kale, Collard, Cole

Brassica oleracea var. acephala

Family: Brassicaceae (brass-ih-KAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Brassica (BRAS-ee-ka) (Info)
Species: oleracea var. acephala



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


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


Tucson, Arizona

Stuttgart, Arkansas

Berkeley, California

Citrus Heights, California

Oak View, California

San Leandro, California

Gainesville, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Broxton, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Columbia City, Indiana

Dequincy, Louisiana

North Las Vegas, Nevada

Los Alamos, New Mexico

Middle Grove, New York

New York City, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Thomasville, North Carolina

Levittown, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Deer Park, Texas

Port Lavaca, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Terrell, Texas

Freeland, Washington

Seattle, Washington (2 reports)

Tacoma, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 10, 2012, Simina from Cluj-Napoca,
Romania wrote:

Cultivating kales was an interesting experience. I cultivated kale last year, 2011, but allmost all of the made flowers, this is not a good thing if we speak about vegetables. But in autumn after the first frost they got colored and become very beautiful.


On Dec 15, 2011, jardines2 from Luverne, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I wanted plants to grow thru the winter in Tucson, AZ, where we got frosts down to 15 last winter (2010-2011). My goal was to make a pot that I wouldn't have to protect and Kale and Alyssum have proven to be the answer..... so far. Wondering how low they can take the temperatures, can any one advise?


On Jun 9, 2010, ajsnyc from Levittown, PA wrote:

We were successful here in suburban Philly, Bucks County keeping what I somewhere learned to call PEACOCK KALE vital through the Winter by covering with burlap and partial sheltering. Now the plants have created what look like seed pods but reading the comments here I'm not sure if we should try seeding as soon as possible to have maturing plants in October or wait. I would enjoy further comments including what we should expect now from the huge plants which are now producing the seeds.


On Dec 30, 2009, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I am using ornamental kale to make part of the design in the knot garden at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens. I have not started it from seed -- I get 3" or 4" pots of it in October and it will grow through our relatively mild 8b/9a winters (occasional frosts). I try to purchase plants which are not rootbound as they grow much better than plants which are rootbound. In fact, it has been suggested that rootbound plants will not get much bigger than they were when finally released from their captivity and planted out. In the knot garden these will be replaced by a summer annual (probably some form of basil) in March or April. Be careful about planting these too closely -- they get wide and, if too crowded, the possible poor air circulation that results can cause fungal problems.


On Nov 2, 2007, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

Have the Purple Kale and the White/Green Kale. They do add a bit of color that goes very well with Autumn Joy Sedum.

They are planted where they receive about 2 to 3 hours of dappled sunlight from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Daylight Savings Time.


On Oct 20, 2006, pajaritomt from Los Alamos, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

Ornamental Kale is a beautiful, edible plant that I have often used in my garden, sometimes amont the flowers, sometimes among the vegetables. I normally buy plants for it in the spring, though it is very easy to grow from seed. By mid summer it is really pretty and its fall display is impressive. For beautiful party platters take one head and separate the leaves to line the platters, then put appetizers or composed salads or any dish on top the beautiful kale leaves. Very showy and tasty as well.


On Jun 17, 2004, LeannLadycop from Spring Hill, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have a flowering cabbage that is approximately 3 ft high. I had to replant a few months after being in the ground after it started leaning over off the flower bed. My only warning to other gardeners is don't overwater-the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. It has even started to send side shoots off the main stem. It gets sun from mid day to eve. But otherwise--I pretty much a no fuss plant. I haven't fertilized mine--just water from the sprinkler and rain. And off course some triazicide--too many creatures wanting to taste my flowers.


On Nov 18, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have grown 'Red Feathers' for 4 years: the same plant re-sprouts from the stalk in the spring, and by autumn becomes a beautiful accent again. Persists through winter.


On Aug 6, 2001, Cine from Lufkin, TX wrote:

Ornamental heads have wavy leaves with green edges, pink, red or white centers. Attractive in containers or massed in beds. Needs cool weather to develop color. Avoid planting where any member of the cabbage family grew the previous year.

Start indoors in late winter to early spring where summers are cool. In South, Gulf, and Pacific Coast areas, sow from fall to early winter. In other areas, plant from sprint to early summer and grow for fall color. Sow seeds 1/4" deep in planting formula. Keep moist. Seedlings emerge in 7-12 days at 65-70F

Transplant seedlings to individual containers when they have at least 2 pair of leaves. Space 1 1/2" apart in the garden.