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Helena Husinec

Sea Kale "Lilly White"

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Crambe maritima is a lovely dual purpose plant. This delicacy from the olden days is a relative of the cabbage; it can be grown as a vegetable. Available in the spring, the flowerbuds can be eaten like broccoli. Blanched shoots and young leaves can be eaten raw or the leaf midribs cooked and eaten like Asparagus. With a unique delicate flavour, somewhat like hazelnuts and a crisp texture, forced Seakale is a real delicacy. Two or three crops can usually be harvested each year.
'Lily White' is best for blanching and eating. The young leaves are totally devoid of the purple tinge that develops on those of the common type.

In the garden, it can be grown as an eye-catching and fragrant border plant. It has perhaps the most beautiful of all large glaucous leaves; the wide blades are exquisitely curved and lobed. It is superb in the border and ideal for cutting. In early summer, abundant clusters of honey-scented white flowers are held above the wonderfully ruffled, leathery, blue-green leaves. Hardy to about -20°C (-4°F) tolerant of both salt air and drought. The flowers are highly attractive to bees.
If you have an exposed area of the garden where little else will grow consider Seakale as it will happily grow and turn non-productive ground into productive ground.