Environment dino kale

Published on March 25th, 2012 | by Dylan Linet


Delicious, Nutritious Kale: Photo Guide to Different Varieties

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. And it can be one of the most delicious things you’ve ever tasted–check out the best kale recipes here, from Vibrant Wellness Journal.

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.

Curly Kale

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.

dino kale

Premier Kale

Premier kale is a newer variety prized for its early maturity and cold hardiness.

Redbor Kale

A beautiful dark red kale, Rebor walks the line between a food crop and an ornamental plant.

redbor kale

Siberian Kale

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


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

54 Responses to Delicious, Nutritious Kale: Photo Guide to Different Varieties

  1. I am constantly amazed at kale’s astonishing tenacity to endure through the cold winter months. Our garden got over two feet of snow in January, and after the drifts finally melted, our dino kale plants from the previous summer not only survived the storm, but thrived and are still continuing to grow.

  2. Brett Gustafson says:

    Asheville where I live seems to be very kale centric. Everyone eats kale..you would think we live in a kale cult. And like rhonda says..our kale usually last the winter and is the first early greens we have…usually by mid feb.

  3. I love the idea of a southern kale cult. I imagine hoards of devout people kneeling down to pray to a beautiful leafy green goddess.

    And ever since I read your recent article about how cruciferous plants can greatly help treat and prevent cancer, I have become somewhat kale and collard obsessed. Perhaps we should start some sort of kale religion?

  4. Pingback: Crowning Kale the King of Greens

  5. Pingback: Lemon Twists and a New Platform | Two Dogs and Spice

  6. Pingback: Kale conversion-Massaged Kale Salad Recipe « bentoriffic

  7. Sanya says:

    I love kale and eat it every day. I live in Southern Nevada and would like to know, in general, when and how to plant kale. I know nothing about the process, but would like to give it a try.
    Thank you.

    • Kale is fabulous and wonderfully versatile. When and where you start growing the vegetable will depend upon your specific climate and garden conditions. Many kale varieties are very cold tolerant once they are established, but will perish if exposed to extreme temperatures as young seedlings. Do you want to germinate your kale from seeds, or plant starts? What is your soil and sun exposure like?

      This California company is a good source for organic heirloom kale seeds:


    • Weston L says:

      It sounds like you’re probably in “Hardiness Zone 8.” You can begin planting kale 6 to 8 weeks before the first fall frost , and continue planting throughout the fall. They should be ready for harvest by winter. You can use the following webpage to discover when your average first frost is: http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-nevada-first-frost-date-map.php

  8. Sanyakrumm says:

    Our soil is very alkaline and our climate is hot with very low humidity during the summer. I would try either seeds or plants. Thank you for the link.

    • If your climate is very hot, be sure to cover all of the earth around your plants with plenty of organic mulch; this will help keep the plant’s roots cooler, and will also retain more moisture in the soil.

  9. Dominique says:

    Hey I recently tried what was labeled as black kale at sprouts and it was a lighter shade than I’m used to. When I went to make my salad it was really spicy. It almost tasted like wasabi or mustard. Is that the black mustard kale or something different?

  10. jenny harris says:

    I have just acquired some Red Russian Kale seeds and would dearly like
    to plant and grow it. We are in Winter in Cape Town South Africa, cold and wet at the moment. When would you say is a good time to plant it please???

    • Most kale varieties are fairly frost tolerant, but young seedlings are more fragile. I would germinate the seeds indoors, and then transplant the young plants outside as soon as all danger of frost is over for the season.

  11. Pingback: Recipe-Kale Salad from the Luggage Room

  12. Pingback: Good food highlight: Kale and the Immune System – Beyond Meds

  13. Martha says:

    I bought a Kale plant in the garden section of my supermarket. The pot read: “Cabbage/Kale”. I am trying to develop and indoor greenhouse for the winter, but I also have room outside in Rural Southeastern, PA. The kale looks like your “ornamental Kale ” except that it has a white stem, no purple in it at all. Can I expect this plant to be more bitter, but edible as well? Of course, being the person I am, I thought “Great…..full grown Kale!” and now that I’m home I’m questioning my judgement. Firstly, it is edible, right? should I use it in cooking soups, or smoothies, or just admire its beauty? OMG :)

  14. Pingback: Holy Grail of Kale! « On Pointe Nutrition

  15. Claire Campbell says:

    Hello, thank you for this post. I’m currently growing a cross-germinated version of Green and Siberian Kale. So, it’s mild but hardy! I am also growing another variety that I was using this post to hopefully identify.

    When the farmer gave me the seedling, it was labelled as Red Russian and true it did have dark green leaves with red stalk, stems and veins. However, I’d had to prune it quite a bit because of pesky aphid damage and the big leaves I have now have the same lobed shape but green stems?! The very bottom is still crimson but the stems and veins are regular old green! Ha I should mention we’ve had some warmer days so maybe this is why the kale has changed coloring?

  16. ingrid says:

    what is the name of kale in Spanih

  17. Pingback: Kermit’s Kale Chips-Your Kids Might Even Like These « Nutrition in a Nutshell

  18. Pingback: Happy Owlidays! Holiday Dinner Thyme – Part I of III | Branching Owl

  19. Dan says:

    Great site!
    I have asked every produce manager at all the health food stores, and no one is able to answer this question. Since I put raw kale in a blended drink with fruit and juice every morning, I’m not concerned about texture or taste; I simply want to buy the variety that has the most nutrients; between Red, Green, and Lacinato, can you tell me which one that is?

    • All types of kale are full of many important vitamins and minerals, but I do not know of any specific research that has studied which kale varieties have more nutritional value. Often the darker green a vegetable is, the better is it for you — so perhaps dino kale has the most nutrients? Eating kale raw will provide the most vitamins. Dino kale plants are also very tenacious; our plants survived two feet of snow last winter, and are still continuing to flourish.

      This is what the Seeds of Change website has to say about different kale varieties and their respective nutritional value:

      “Vitamins in Kale: When choosing the most nutritious varieties of kale, pick the deepest colors, as these will most often have higher contents of vitamins and carotenoids. Dinosaur Kale is a good example of a very dark-green kale. Pick fresh leaves from your garden and eat them within a few days, because the longer kale is kept the more the flavor declines.”


  20. Pingback: Plant of the Week (New Series!) « Divine Babies

  21. Pingback: Last minute dinner in Paris | nosh. oakland

  22. Pingback: Kale picture | Mendocinophoto

  23. Pingback: POTW: Kale! | Divine Babies

  24. Pingback: Spicy, Cheesy Kale Chips | WELL in L.A.

  25. Pingback: Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons, Roasted Chicken, and Hazelnuts - Girl Around Town

  26. Pingback: Kale Chips: The Super Snack! | College Cuisine

  27. Pingback: Kale and the immune system ( #foodie Friday) – Beyond Meds

  28. Pingback: Roasted Beets with Kale and Figs {seriously decadent} | Less Sugar, More Spice

  29. Nan Ondra says:

    I am very surprised to see that you use images without asking permission of the copyright holders. Please remove my photograph of ‘Redbor’ kale above, or at least link it to the appropriate post on my blog: http://hayefield.com/2010/11/15/garden-bloggers-bloom-day-november-2010/

  30. Pingback: Kale: Cookbook Review & Recipe | Eat Drink Better

  31. Pingback: L A + L O V E T T A

  32. Pingback: All hail kale! Why America loves this leafy green - Dental Blog in Arlington, TX - Franklyn Alexander, DDS, PA

  33. Pingback: Simple and Healthy Recipe: Kale Salad

  34. Pingback: Kale Chips a Truly Healthy Snack… | HappyPanky

  35. Pingback: Eating With Edith – Lemon Massaged Dino Kale Salad | Healthy Mission Dietitian

  36. Pingback: Recipe: “So you think you don’t like kale?” Raw Kale Salad | Your Spice of Life

  37. Pingback: What the Kale? « NOTJUSTLETTUCE.net

  38. Pingback: Healthy foods, cooking with kale, optimal health with kale | Rosie Bank

  39. Petar says:

    Which variety has the higher content of lutein and zeaxantin?

  40. Jose says:

    What is the nutritional value of Kamome kale compared to the more green variaties?

  41. Pingback: Even 3 1/2 Year Olds and Doggies Love Kale Chips! |

  42. Pingback: Fast, fresh, healthy: Kale and parsley salad | The Reluctant Matron

  43. Pingback: MINDFUL TIP WEEK #2 | Real Local Mindful Food

  44. Pingback: The Perfect Green Smoothie: A Texas Twist on a New York Vision | Fit is Chic | by Mattie Claire

  45. Pingback: Currently Craving: Green | love and cocoa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑