This extremely rare member of the cabbage family (Brassica carinata) is known as liki liki in its native habitat. Grown in Africa largely as oil seed, the oil makes an excellent source for bio-fuel. However it is the leafy greens that interest us since they resemble tender young collards with a rich buttery flavor. Even the sweet, creamy white flowers are edible and attractive to bees and butterflies. While most cabbages are biennial, this one can be treated as an annual that prefers cool weather. Thus it can be grown as an early spring and early fall crop similar to Asian mustards. It also does well in partial shade.
When planted 6 inches apart in rich loam, each plant will form a leafy cluster that can be harvested like cutting lettuce over a period of several weeks. Best of all the delicate flowers can be used like baby’s breath in floral arrangements.