Related to cabbage. Nearly eaten to extinction by the Victorians, top chefs now want the vegetable back on the menu for its complete usefulness and its unique taste. The entire plant is edible and prized by gourmets (after the top parts are blanched).
Its has edible roots (starchy and a little sweet), shoots (like asparagus), stems (tastes like a cross between asparagus and celery) leaves (like kale, cabbage, or spinach), and flower heads (like small broccoli heads). It's also perennial, drought tolerant and attracts butterflys and beneficial insects (especially bees and parasatoid wasps) with numerous, fragrant flowers.
The root is very nutritious and edible, either raw or cooked - more calories are available when cooked. Young leaves are best for eating raw (kind of like spinach); although they are tough and bitter when older raw, they cook up well. They have a cabbage or kale-like flavor (makes them delicious when cooked), and are very nutritious. They make a good addition to salad when young. An excellent pot herb. Old leaves prized when fried until they're crispy. Except for the root, it does not store or ship well, and generally needs to be eaten the day it is picked.
Seakale grows wild along the coasts of Europe, where it has been prized as a vegetable for thousands of years, but does not need a nearby ocean to thrive. Given a rich, deep and sandy soil it is easy to propagate from seed. Prefers moist soils but drought hardy once established (deep taproot). Suckers if roots are broken by digging. Grows slowly but As this plant grows, new taproots form with new growing points - these are what can be divided to form new plants.
As an ornamental garden plant it won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Seakale can be used as a drought resistant groundcover, and makes a good fodder plant as well.
Sea Kale was preserved and used by the Romans on long ocean journeys to prevent scurvy (It is naturally high in vitamin C). Sea kale appeared in Thomas Jefferson's Garden Book of 1809.
Crambe maritima W/Matures 2 years/Harvest 6/Yield 80-150/Spacing 30”