Brassica oleracea sabauda
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 bullata DC. pro parte majore
Brassica sabauda (L.) Lizg.
Common Name: Savoy Cabbage
Savoy cabbage is a biennial plant derived in cultivation from the wild cabbage. The plant has a highly shortened, not fleshy, stem base, it produces a few more or less horizontal leaves and then the leaves become strongly overlapping to form a compact, more or less globose head of leaves that can be 30cm or more in diameter.
The plant is cultivated, especially in cooler regions of the temperate zone, for its edible head of leaves. This is a very hardy form of cabbage that is able to withstand quite severe winters, providing leaves from autumn to the spring.
A cultivated form of Brassica oleracea.
Not known in the wild.
Savoy cabbage was developed in the temperate zone and can withstand quite cold winters. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 24°c, but can tolerate 7 - 32°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -10°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 500 - 1,000mm, but tolerates 300 - 2,500mm[
]. A difference of about 5°c between day and night temperatures appears to be necessary for adequate head development. Normally, flower initiation and stem elongation are induced by low winter temperatures of the order 4 - 7°c for several weeks[
]. Cabbages are adapted to 60 - 90% relative air humidity and low humidity may cause wilting[
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[
]. Prefers a heavy soil[
]. Prefers a soil that is not too rich[
]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Succeeds in maritime gardens[
The savoy cabbage is often grown for its edible leaves - there are many named varieties. The savoy, however, is considered by many people to be coarser tasting than other cabbages and is less grown nowadays.
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. The leaves have a very attractive crinkled appearance, but are somewhat tougher than other cabbages. Finely shredded, they can be used in salads, though many people find them indigestible this way. They are delicious cooked, especially the younger leaves since the older ones can be quite tough[
]. Through careful selection of varieties, they are usually available from the autumn until the spring[
Seed - sow in a seedbed outdoors in mid spring. Plant out in summer as space permits. 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.