Unlike anything you’ve grown before — kale reimagined as a truly perennial
Oregon-based plant breeder Chris Homanics has worked for years to develop
this unique perennial kale population. You’ll find an astounding diversity
of forms, from ruffled to smooth, tall and skinny to wide and flat, in hues
of purple, red, yellow, and occasional wintertime splashes of pink or
white. Each seedling will display its own distinctive character, though the
whole grex (Latin for “flock”) was selected for its delicious flavor and
texture — coveted by chefs and eaters alike. There’s nothing else like it
in the world!
Not your typical garden kale, these will need 3ft+ spacing as they often
become shrubs with sprawling branches. Several rare perennial bush kales
were brought together, including ‘Purple Tree Collard’ and ‘Daubenton,’ and
thousands of plants were screened with only the longest living and hardiest
making the cut. They have proven hardy in many regions of the country, even in cold
states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Most will survive to
around Zone 6 (~10°F minimum), possibly lower if mulched. Growers in warm
climates will find they also hold up well during long periods of drought.
Most plants will continue growing new side branches even after flowering —
and some may not even flower at all. In the fall of their second year you
can take cuttings of older woody stems to propagate more of your favorite
plants and share with friends.
Chris is grateful to his friend Graham for making the initial cross and his
years of collaboration around perennial kale. Growers are welcome to share
results and volunteer to help further improve this perennial kale by
joining Chris’ Experimental Farm Network project page.
NOTE: This seed is released under the OSSI pledge: “You have the freedom to
use these OSSI seeds in any way you choose. In return, you pledge not to
restrict others’ use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or
other means, and to include this pledge with any transfer of these seeds or
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington
Crucifer Seed Quarantine, this seed was tested by Oregon State University
and found to be free from Blackleg fungus (*Leptosphaeria maculans*).