Collards (Brassica oleracea viridis)

Biennial/Perennial
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Collards
Brassica oleracea viridis
Cruciferae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Leaves – raw or cooked[2, 16, 46]. A strong cabbage flavour, they are delicious if used when fairly young though they can become tough with age[K]. The leaves are usually available from autumn to late spring, and can be harvested all through the winter in all but the very coldest of seasons[K].

    Young flowering shoots – raw or cooked. Picked before the flowers open, they are fairly tender and can be used as part of a mixed salad. When cooked, they have a delicious flavour similar to sprouting broccoli[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow in a seedbed outdoors in April/May. Plant out into their permanent positions in the summer as space permits. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil – the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported. The perennial forms can be increased by cuttings. These can be taken at almost any time that they are available. Use shoots about 8cm long of the current year’s growth and place them in individual pots in the cuttings frame. They root very quickly and easily[K].
A very easily grown plant, succeeding in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[16, 200]. Prefers a heavy soil[16]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil[37]. Shade tolerant, growing well on a north border[37]. Succeeds in maritime gardens[200]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.2 to 8.3. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -15¡c[200]. It also tolerates high summer temperatures[200]. Often cultivated for its edible leaves, collards are especially useful for providing leaves throughout the winter and spring, it is very cold tolerant. There are several named forms[183, 200] but this vegetable has fallen out of favour somewhat since it is considered be coarser than other vegetables that can be imported from warmer areas in the winter.
A cultivated form of B. oleracea.

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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.