Kale is a beautiful dark leafy green that is packed with nutrition and cancer fighting properties. High in manganese, as well as vitamins A, C and K, this vegetable is often referred to as a superfood. Gaining quickly in popularity for its ease to grow, hardiness and wonderful taste, kale is becoming a staple in home gardens everywhere.
There are now so many different kinds of kale that it is almost impossible to keep track of them all. This guide will give you a photo reference, as well as a little bit of information about some of the more popular cultivars. In most climates kale varieties will produce best when started indoors in mid winter, so that they can be transplanted outside in the early spring.
One of the most common types of kale found in domestic grocery stores, Curly kale is sweet and mild.
Lacinato Kale (Dino Kale)
This kale is the second most likely to be found in grocery stores, Lacinato (aka Dinosaur kale) has tall narrow leaves and a wrinkled texture; this variety will also continue to grow over the winter very well.
Premier kale is a newer variety prized for its early maturity and cold hardiness.
A beautiful dark red kale, Rebor walks the line between a food crop and an ornamental plant.
One of the most cold hardy varieties available, Siberian kale has enormous leaves and can take quite a beating from cold or pests.
Walking Stick Kale
A particularly unusual variety, Walking Stick kale can grow up to six feet tall if well fertilized and cared for. The stems can be dried, laminated and used as walking sticks.
Red Russian Kale
Similar to Siberian kale in its hardiness, Red Russian boasts beautiful red leaf stalks and tender twisting intricate leaves.
Kamome Red Kale
One of the many types of “flowering” kale, Kamome is an ornamental kale prized for its appearance. Although edible, these flowering greens are often more bitter tasting than other varieties.
Have more questions about kale varieties or instructions regarding how to best care for these plants? Please leave your query or comments below and I will get back to you.
Images courtesy of: coolindigo.com, hayefield.files.wordpress.com, Rhonda Winter, David Grist, napity.com, wikipedia.org, gardenworldimages.com & thefind.com