Abyssinian Cabbage (Brassica carinata)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Abyssinian Cabbage
Brassica carinata

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Leaves and young stems – raw or cooked[2, 52, 61, 141]. Used when up to 30cm tall[183]. A mild and pleasant cabbage flavour[K], the young growth can be cut finely and used in mixed salads, whilst older leaves are cooked like cabbage leaves[183].

    Immature flowering stems – cooked. Used like broccoli[183], they make a nice vegetable[K].

    An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183]. Oil from the wild species is high in erucic acid, which is toxic[141], though there are some cultivars that contain very little erucic acid and can be used as food[K].

    The seed can also be crushed and used as a condiment[200].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The oil contained in the seed of this species is rich in erucic acid which is toxic. However, modern cultivars have been selected which are almost free of erucic acid.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow in situ in succession from March to early September. The seed can also be sown under cloches in February when it will yield a crop in May.
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil[52]. This species is very tolerant of a wide range of climatic conditions but it prefers a range of 15 – 20¡c in the day with a diurnal range of 5 – 6¡c and moderate rainfall[200]. Cultivated for its edible leaves in some areas, plants that are given some protection from the cold can supply edible leaves all through the winter[52]. There are some named varieties. ‘Texsel’ is especially good for temperate climates, it is fast growing even at relatively low temperatures[141, 200].
N. Africa – Ethiopia. Occasional in Britain.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.