Brassica oleracea costata
This species has been cultivated as a food crop for many hundreds of years and, in that time, several quite distinct forms have arisen. The nomenclature of these forms is confused, to say the least, and by no means universally accepted. We have followed the treatment used by GRIN, though it is very likely to be revised in the future[
Brassica oleracea tronchuda L.H.Bailey
Common Name: Couve Tronchuda
Couve tronchuda is a biennial plant derived in cultivation from the wild cabbage. It can grow up to 150cm tall.
The plant is occasionally cultivated in gardens for its edible leaves and leaf stem.
A cultivated form of Brassica oleracea.
Not known in the wild.
Couve tronchuda has been developed in cultivation in the temperate zone. It is fairly hardy, tolerating short-lived temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[
]. Prefers a heavy soil[
]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil, but is best when grown in a rich soil[
Couve tronchuda is a non-hearting form of cabbage with large green leaves and prominent white midribs that are available to eat mainly in the autumn[
]. The plant is transitional between the hearting cabbages and the kales[
One report suggests that it might be resistant to club root[
A good bee plant[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Most commonly eaten as a vegetable, though the younger and more tender leaves can be added to salads. Some people find the raw leaves hard to digest[
]. The leaves can be available all through the winter[
The leaf ribs are cooked like seakale (Crambe maritima.)[
Seed - sow in a seedbed outdoors in mid spring. Plant out as space permits in summer. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil - the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported.