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Crambe


Perennials, Flowers

There are two useful cabbage relatives in this genus; both are ornamental, one is edible. They produce large, smooth blue-green leaves like those of cabbage and large, loose heads of small, honey-scented, white flowers in summer. The leaves turn yellow and fade after bloom, leaving an empty space to plant with annuals. Watch out for cabbage worms on foliage.

Crambe maritima (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Crambe maritima (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Crambe maritima

From coastal northern Europe; naturalized on the Oregon coast. Grows to 2 ft. tall and wide; blue-green leaves up to a foot wide. In Europe (but apparently not in the U.S.), plants are blanched in late winter or early spring by covering with pots or a deep mulch; the pale sprouts are harvested like asparagus. Grow from seed.

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