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Anyone who at least once succeeds in growing ornamental cabbage will no longer be able to part with it. Although this amazing plant appeared in gardens relatively recently, it has already won the love of many gardeners. And designers are actively using it to create great compositions. The variety of its types, shapes and colors is also amazing. And it is already completely impossible to imagine that this beauty was used only for animal feed half a century ago. After all, ornamental cabbage, the varieties of which are currently numbered in the hundreds, have recently been known only as a modest vegetable garden.
Ornamental cabbage varieties in Russia
The progenitor of all currently known varieties of ornamental cabbage was the garden cabbage (Brassica oleracea). The homeland of this type of kale can be considered the Mediterranean and Western Europe. At some point, Japan became interested in the decorative properties of this variety of cabbage. It was in this country that the most interesting and beautiful varieties of such a unique flower were bred. In Russia, at the end of the last century, work on selective breeding of interesting species of this cabbage also intensified. As a result, from 2002 to 2010, about 12 varieties of ornamental cabbage of different ripening periods were registered in the State Register of Russia.
Below will be presented the most interesting varieties of cabbage from the State Register of Russia with a photo.
A medium-late ripening plant with a compact rosette of leaves up to 45 cm in diameter.It reaches a small height - about 35 cm.
The rosette is colored light green at the edges. To the center of the flower, the color smoothly turns into yellow-white. Plants show resistance to pests and diseases. Coloring may appear even without exposure to low temperatures.
A mid-season variety with a compact and raised rosette up to 45 cm in diameter.The plant height is average up to 50 cm.
The color of the rosette is predominantly dark green, but in the center it smoothly turns into bright crimson. The leaves have a slight waxy bloom. The surface of the leaves themselves is smooth. Differs in resistance to premature steming, that is, it is able to maintain a compact appearance for a long time.
A medium late variety with a spreading rosette up to 55 cm in diameter.The plant height is small, about 50 cm.
The rosette has a deep purple center, and a gray-green color prevails along the edges. The veins of the leaf are also painted in a purple hue, and the leaves themselves are strongly dissected, due to which the plants have a high decorative effect.
Colors of the East
It is one of the latest varieties of ornamental cabbage with a medium-sized semi-spreading rosette of leaves. The color is gray-green, smoothly turning into bright purple. It impresses with its decorative effect, which is achieved due to the rounded leaf with strong waviness along the edge and the purple color of the central veins.
Plants of mid-season ripening, capable of reaching a height of one and a half meters. Leaves are strongly corrugated on long petioles drooping down. Their color is predominantly purple-red. A very showy variety.
The Snow Queen
Medium late cabbage with a compact type of rosette of small height. Along the edge, the color of the rosette is green, in the center it turns into yellow-white. The veins of the leaves are also yellow-white, they themselves are strongly dissected, which gives additional exoticism to the plants.
Mid-season plants of palm-like type. The flower itself reaches a small height, up to 40 cm, but in diameter it can grow up to 50 cm. The drooping leaves on long petioles with strongly corrugated edges have a light green color.
Basics of the classification of ornamental cabbage
Currently, all varieties of decorative cabbage known in the world are conventionally divided into two groups:
- The first group (palm-like) includes plants, as a rule, reaching a height of one meter or even more. Although in the same group there are very low flowers, no more than 50 cm in height. These varieties do not form a pronounced rosette of leaves, therefore they are often called leafy. Rather, they look like small, densely leafed palms. Their leaves come in different shades, usually of a monochromatic color, strongly corrugated and hanging down on long petioles. In width, due to the density of the leaves, these varieties of ornamental cabbage can form very voluminous compositions.
- The second group of ornamental cabbages (rosette) includes varieties with a pronounced regular rosette of leaves. They look more like a traditional rose, peony or dahlia flower. Sometimes the rosettes are flat, sometimes raised, forming real heads of cabbage. In width, some of them can reach one meter, while others form rather compact rosettes, comparable to the size of ordinary flowers. The leaves are often lacy and are usually multi-colored. That is, in one outlet, 2,3 or even 4 shades of color are combined with smooth transitions. The color can be quite even, and sometimes with spots, strokes, stripes and other decorations.
Ornamental cabbage varieties bred in Japan are by far the most popular and widespread among amateur flower growers. Almost all of them belong to the second group and form beautiful and delicate heads of cabbage of various colors. The names of these varieties are purely Japanese.
They are small plants up to 30 cm in height. At the edge of the rosette, the leaves are always dark green, but the middle in contrast can be of various colors: pink, white, crimson. The edge of the leaves is only slightly wavy. In the photo below, Tokyo is pink.
Plants are similar to the previous variety, but the rosette is much larger, it can reach 62 cm in height, and its diameter is about 46 cm. The leaves are most often corrugated. There are varieties with pink, white and red centers.
The plants are also very large with unusual leaves decorated with thick fringes. The color can be white, pink, red, or a combination of the two. The other shade is always green.
A very unusual cabbage that is very popular. The rosettes are very small in size, the leaves are neat, almost smooth, evoke an unambiguous association with delicate roses. Sometimes the leaves are slightly corrugated, which only adds additional sophistication to these plants.
A very unusual variety, similar in name and appearance to Russian cabbage - coral. The leaves are very dissected, bright red in color.
Among the varieties of the first group, there are very interesting varieties worthy of serving as a decoration for any garden.
Green curly tall
This cabbage can grow to a height of 150 cm or more. Looks great in separate growing groups, as well as in compositions with conifers.
Red curly high
The variety is very similar to the previous one, but has an original red-burgundy color.
The leaves of this variety are originally folded, which gives the plant an attractive appearance. It reaches a height of about 70 cm, and the leaves can be of various shades: white, pink, yellow, green and red.
This group of ornamental cabbages also includes kale collard. She may well decorate the site, although she also has a delicious taste. And it is not known what attracts more in her - the original appearance or the unique taste.
Other interesting varieties
Among the endless variety of ornamental cabbage varieties, several more that have enjoyed the greatest popularity in recent years are worthy of mention. Most of them are hybrids, so don't try to save and harvest seeds from them.
This group of varieties may include flowers with white, pink, red foliage. Plants can reach a height of 90 cm. The rosette of leaves is a bit like a gigantic rose. Sometimes this cabbage is used for cutting, cutting off all the lower leaves and leaving only the very top. As a result, a very original floristic composition can be obtained.
This group of hybrids resembles a little heron, but much smaller in size. It also makes an excellent cut.
This variety has very beautiful cut leaves, a bit like Coral cabbage. Plant height is small, up to 30 cm.
The review of ornamental cabbages ends with a very delicate, fragrant rose-like, and therefore very popular variety.
All varieties of ornamental cabbage are very attractive and any of them may have a place in your garden.