Sea kale, Crambe maritima, is a striking plant that is both ornamental and edible. The large leaves are a lovely glaucous green, with wavy edges, and in summer these are crowned with a cloud of tiny white perfumed flowers. These nectar-rich flowers are great for attracting pollinating insects. As the name suggests, sea kale is often found growing wild on the coast. In gardens, it looks good planted in dry sunny beds or into gravel, with other plants that favour this habitat, such as knifphofia and thrift. Or you could include it in your vegetable plot and harvest the young shoots in spring to eat raw or steamed – they taste like asparagus.
Where to plant sea kale
For best results, grow sea kale in full sun or partial shade in fertile, very well-drained soil. The position needs to be deep enough to accommodate the long tap root of the plant with plenty of space for it to spread out. Sea kale is not suitable for growing in containers.