Perennial kale (Brassica oleracea ramosa) is a low-maintenance perennial vegetable that is tough, productive and good to eat.
There are many varieties of Brassica oleracea, of which Daubenton’s and Dorbenton’s are two popular ones.
Brassica oleracea is believed to have been cultivated for several thousand years, although its history as a domesticated plant is not clear before Greek and Roman times, when it was a well-established garden vegetable.
Where It Grows
Perennial Kale grows well in a wide range of soils and climates, and can tolerate a light seasonal shade. It’s hardy to zone 7 in the UK and USDA zones 6-9.
Why We Like It
- First and foremost, we like it because it’s perennial, meaning that you won’t have to replant it year after year as you would have to with annual kale varieties. The perennial kale can live up to 5-6 years.
- Second, it’s delicious. The leaves are tastier than annual varieties of kale, having a nutty taste and a size of common spinach.
- It’s very easy to grow and requires very little maintenance.
- It’s green all through the year and starts growing early in the spring, although the leaves are most valuable in the winter when other food is scarce.
- The plant form thick clumps providing an abundance of food, and while they spread they are not invasive.
- It is rich in essential nutrients including vitamin C.
Where To Get It
Territorial Seed Company (sells a new variety of perennial kale, for more thoughts on it see this post)
Agroforestry Research Trust (Daubenton’s)
Pennard Plants (several varieties)