Ornamental cabbage and kale look and grow very much like their close relatives of edible cabbages and kale. Although you could eat them, they have been bred for looks, not flavor. Their leaves have been hybridized to feature purple, rosy, and creamy white colors, making them look more like large flowers than vegetables.
Ornamental cabbage varieties like "Pigeon White" can thrive in both spring and fall, but you may have better luck avoiding typical pests like cabbage worms, aphids, and cutworms with a late fall planting.
Technically, ornamental cabbage and kale are all kales (kales produce leaves in a tight rosettes; cabbages produce heads). But in the horticultural trade, ornamental kale is the term used for types with deeply-cut, curly, frilly or ruffled leaves. Ornamental cabbage is the term used for types with broad, flat leaves that are edged in a ...
Generally the cabbage cultivars have smooth scalloped leaves and stay lower to the ground. In comparison, kale varieties can be more feathery, sometimes taller, and may hold their color better. Like edible cabbages and kales, ornamental varieties slow down or almost stop growing above ground generally in October.
Secondly, kale and cabbage (whether ornamental or not) are genetically the same plant. The only difference is cabbages make heads, and kale do not. All “ornamental” cabbages and kales are really kale, since they do not form heads. The term “ornamental cabbage” is usually used to refer to varieties with unruffled leaves such as ‘Osaka’.
Ornamental cabbages share the same botanical name as edible cabbage–Brassica oleracea. The ornamental varieties are edible too, but they are not as tasty and tender as their edible counterparts. Grow these colorful cabbages the same way you grow regular cabbages. Plant in full sun in rich, fertile soil.
Some varieties of cabbage have been developed for ornamental use; these are generally called "flowering cabbage". They do not produce heads and feature purple or green outer leaves surrounding an inner grouping of smaller leaves in white, red, or pink.
Ornamental kale. That being said, you will generally find ornamental varieties with broad, fat leaves labeled as ‘cabbage’ and those with ruffled, crinkled or curled leaves labeled as ‘kale’ at the store. BORN TO BE BEAUTIFUL. Selectively bred to produce spectacular leaves and rosettes, flowering kale comes in all shapes and sizes.
Ornamental cabbages (Brassica oleracea) bring annual cool-season color to flowers beds and borders. Although technically a kale and not a cabbage -- although they're the same species -- plants with broad, flat leaves and contrasting leaf margins are called cabbage. Ornamental cabbage thrives in fall ...
A great season extender, ornamental kale (also known as flowering kale) provides outstanding color under cooler temperatures, which they prefer. Specific varieties have also been bred for bedding or restaurant use while others are for cut flower production.