Colewort adds a bold texture and is great in a cottage garden.
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Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Crambe cordifolia
Hardiness: USDA Zones 5 to 8(9)

Features white sprays of flowers on stems dangling over large, deeply lobed basal leaves. Foliage adds a nice, bold texture to the garden. Blooms from late spring to early summer. Plant size ranges from four to seven feet tall and three to four feet wide.

How to use it: In masses or as a specimen plant. Use in a mixed perennial border or cottage garden.

Culture: Prefers a rich, moist, well-drained site. Will suffer in dry soils. Plant in full sun and tolerates part shade. May require staking. Propagated through seed or root cuttings. No serious pest or disease problems; caterpillars may feed on the foliage.

Special notes: Blooms resemble baby's breath (Gypsophila). Does not perform well in areas with lots of heat and humidity.

Selected Species

  • Sea Kale (C. maritima). Suitable for salty coastal conditions. Reaches two to three feet tall. Features bluish-green, cabbage-like foliage, hence the name sea kale. Young, emerging shoots resemble asparagus and can be used in cooking as blanched (whitened) vegetables. USDA Zones 5 to 8(9).


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