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This odd-looking plant is a brassica (cabbage) relative, grown for its round swollen stem, which develops just above soil level and makes a crisp juicy vegetable, especially succulent when used raw in salads. The plants grow fast and are almost hardy, so that they can be grown under glass very early and late, giving a season of use from March to November. The stems are cut while still young and free from fibre - they do not stand long, so regular successional sowing every 4 weeks is advisable. Late crops can be stored like roots in boxes of sand.
Species: oleracea gongylodes group
Cultivar: Purple Vienna
Plant type: Vegetable
Flower colour: Yellow
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: April to August
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