WE ARE NOT SHIPPING ANY MORE TREE COLLARDS UNTIL APRIL OF 2014.
If you are in Florida or Texas you should probably order in the fall. We offer them in sets of three cuttings. The cost is $15 for a set of three, plus $4.95 postage. Each cutting has several nodes from which leaves or roots will sprout. Cuttings should be put in pots in good potting soil (with half of the nodes below the soil and half above) and kept moist and in the shade to develop roots for a couple of months before planting out in the garden. Leaves may begin to grow at first but then will stop until good roots are formed. We cannot guarantee that all three cuttings will survive; conditions en route or in your own area may keep them from being successful. SORRY, WE CANNOT SHIP TREE COLLARD CUTTINGS TO FOREIGN ADDRESSES.
You'll receive three cuttings and instructions for rooting them; they'll be sent via Priority US Mail and should be placed in soil as soon as they arrive if possible. If you do not have the pots ready right away, they can be put in a vase with water for a day or two. If you order other items, these may come separately.
Tree Collards are much like regular collard greens except that they are 5-6 feet tall with purple-tinted leaves growing up a single tall stalk. They are definitely perennial in zones 8-10, maybe in zone 7, and may overwinter in other areas depending on the conditions. In colder zones, if you have established plants, you could try taking cuttings as winter begins and rooting them indoors for planting out the following spring. (We don't know if this will work!)
Their history and biological identity seem to be shrouded in mystery, but they are reputed to come from Africa and have been preserved and passed on within African-American communities in this country. They do not normally flower or make seed, and when they do, the seed does not breed true. Instead propagation is by cuttings, which are passed along from gardener to gardener. Tree collard greens are tender and delicious in cool weather, so they are a good choice for a low-maintenance winter vegetable in mild climates. (They're pretty good in warm weather also.) We've grown these wonderful plants in our research gardens for decades. Collard leaves are rich in calcium (226 mg per cup, cooked), vitamins B1, B2, B9, and C (which may be leached by cooking, however), as well as beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). They are high in soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties: diindolylmethane, sulforaphane and selenium. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have recently discovered that 3,3'-Diindolylmethane in Brassica vegetables such as collard greens is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.
Tree Collards by Growing Your Greens an informational u-tube video on growing Tree Collards in Northern California.