Anyone who can grow decorative cabbage at least once will not be able to part with it. Although this amazing plant appeared in the gardens relatively recently, it has already managed to win 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 absolutely impossible to imagine that this beauty half a century ago was used only for animal feed. After all, ornamental cabbage, varieties of which are currently in the hundreds, has only recently been known only as a modest garden plant.
Varieties of decorative cabbage in Russia
The progenitor of all currently known varieties of ornamental cabbage was garden cabbage (Brassica oleracea). The homeland of this type of kale can be considered the Mediterranean and Western Europe. At some point, the decorative properties of this variety of cabbage became interested in Japan. It was in this country that the most interesting and beautiful varieties of such a unique flower were brought out. In Russia, at the end of the last century, work on the selective breeding of interesting species of this cabbage also intensified. As a result, from 2002 to 2010, about 12 varieties of decorative cabbage of different ripening terms 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 photos.
The plant is of medium late ripening time with a compact rosette of leaves with a diameter of up to 45 cm. It reaches a small height - about 35 cm.
The socket is painted in a light green color on the edges. To the center of the flower color gradually turns into yellow-white. Plants are resistant to pests and diseases. Coloring may appear even without exposure to low temperatures.
Mid-season variety with a compact and raised socket with a diameter of up to 45 cm. Average plant height up to 50 cm.
The color of the outlet is predominantly dark green, but in the center it gradually turns into a bright crimson. The leaves have a weak wax coating. The surface of the leaves themselves is smooth. Differs in resistance to a premature stalking, that is it is capable to keep a compact look for a long time.
Medium late variety with a spreading rosette with a diameter of up to 55 cm. The height of the plant is small, about 50 cm.
The socket has a rich purple center, and the edges are dominated by a gray-green color. The leaf veins are also painted in a purple hue, and the leaves themselves are strongly dissected, thanks to which the plants have a high decorative effect.
Paints of the East
It is one of the latest varieties of decorative cabbage with a semi-sprawling rosette of leaves of medium size. Color gray-green, smoothly turning into a bright purple. It impresses with its decorative effect, which is achieved due to a rounded sheet with a strong waviness along the edge and purple color of the central veins.
Plants of mid-ripening maturity capable of reaching a height of one and a half meters. The leaves are strongly corrugated on long petioles drooping down. The color of their predominantly purple-red color. Very spectacular variety.
The Snow Queen
Medium-sized cabbage with a compact type of small height socket. On the edge of the color of the outlet 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 palm-type plants. The flower itself reaches a small height, up to 40 cm, but in diameter it can form up to 50 cm. The drooping leaves on long petioles with strongly corrugated edges have a light green color.
The basics of classification of decorative cabbage
Currently, all varieties of ornamental cabbage known in the world are conventionally divided into two groups:
- To the first group (palm-shaped) belong plants, as a rule, reaching one meter in height and even more. Although in the same group there are very low flowers, not more than 50 cm tall. These varieties do not form a pronounced rosette of leaves, which is why they are often called leafy. They are more like small leafy palm palms. The leaves they come in different shades, usually monochromatic color, strongly corrugated and hang down on long petioles. In width due to the thickness of the leaves, these varieties of ornamental cabbage can form a very voluminous composition.
- The second group of decorative cabbages (rosettes) belong to the variety, with a pronounced correct rosette of leaves. They are more like a traditional rose flower, peony or dahlia. Sometimes the sockets are flat, sometimes raised, forming real heads of cabbages. In width, some of them can reach one meter, while others form quite compact sockets, comparable to the size of ordinary colors. The leaves are often laced and, as a rule, multi-colored. That is, in one outlet combined with smooth transitions of 2.3 or even 4 shades of color. Color can be quite smooth, and sometimes with stains, strokes, stripes and other decorations.
Varieties of decorative cabbage, bred in Japan, are by far the most popular and common among amateur growers. Almost all of them belong to the second group and form beautiful and delicate cabbages 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 outlet is much larger, can reach a height of 62 cm, and its diameter is about 46 cm. The leaves are most often corrugated. There are varieties with pink, white and red center.
Plants are also very large with unusual leaves, decorated with thick fringe. The color can be white, pink, red or a combination of two of them. The other shade is always green.
Very unusual cabbage, which is very popular. The sockets are very small in size, the leaves are neat, almost smooth, causing a definite association with delicate roses. Sometimes the leaves are slightly corrugated, which only gives additional refinement to these plants.
A very unusual variety, similar in name and in appearance to Russian cabbage - coral. The leaves are very dissected, bright red.
Among the varieties of the first group there are very interesting varieties that are worthy to adorn any garden.
Green Curly High
This cabbage can reach a height of 150 cm or more. Looks great separately growing groups, as well as in compositions with coniferous plants.
Red Curly High
The variety is very similar to the previous one, but it has the 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.
To this group of decorative cabbages can also be attributed Kale kale. It may well decorate the site, although it is also distinguished by its delicious taste. And it is not known what attracts more in it - the original appearance or the unique taste.
Other interesting varieties
Among the infinite variety of varieties of ornamental cabbage, several more are worth mentioning, which are the most popular in recent years. Most of them are hybrids, so do not try to save and collect seeds from them.
Flowers with white, pink, red color of foliage can belong to this group of varieties. The height of the plants can reach 90 cm. The rosette of leaves is a bit like a giant rose. Sometimes this cabbage is used for cutting, cutting off all lower leaves, and leaving only the very top. As a result, you can get a very original floristic composition.
This group of hybrids is a bit like a heron, but much smaller in size. It also makes an excellent cut.
This species has very beautiful split leaves, a bit like coral cabbage. Plant height is small, up to 30 cm.
The review of decorative cabbages ends with a very tender, resembling a fragrant rose, and therefore a very popular variety.
All varieties of decorative cabbage are very attractive and for any of them there can be a place in your garden.