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You’re not alone in thinking that kale is just a vegetable that’s good for you, and avoiding it anyway.
Far from being just a food that you’re not quite sure what to do with, kale also comes in the form of Ornamental Kale, otherwise known as kale flowers or more technically Brassica oleracea.
Kale has been a hot trend over the last few years, and not just as an addition to your post-yoga smoothie.
Kale flowers have been seen in almost every florist shop, sold as decorative bunches at most farmer’s markets and included in many a bride’s wedding bouquet.
They have even enjoyed some of the social media success experienced by the regular, more edible kale which has been endorsed by celebrities and emblazoned on t-shirts.
Pinterest is overflowing with images of the flower in decorative arrangements and it experienced viral fame on Twitter when a man in the US attempted to purchase flowers for his girlfriend, but instead purchased the edible variety.
Surprisingly, ornamental kale plants rarely put out real flowers. Kale’ flowers’ are actually known for their lush heads of ruffled leaves, which make an amazing addition to bouquets.
Bold in appearance and often symmetrical, they are usually selected as a focal flower.
A bouquet of kale flowers alone is a simple but stunning arrangement, whilst one or two heads of kale flower surrounded by mixed flowers creates a beautiful variety of textures and sizes.
Ornamental kale range in colour from deep purple to bright green to soft white, allowing it to be combined with a huge range of coloured blooms to fit the theme in mind (especially ideal for weddings!).
They are also easy to work with, being much sturdier than a hydrangea or peony.
Note: This version can technically be eaten but is not grown for taste or texture so we don’t recommend it!
It’s true, kale flowers are known for their smell which develops later in their life and is often described as cabbage soup.
You may be partial to cabbage in which case you won’t mind, however if it bothers you don’t worry – caring for your kale flowers daily will slow down this process.
Simply wash out the vase and refill with fresh water every day. Every second day, trim the ends to remove any rotting.
Kale flowers prefer the colder months, usually blooming around April to August, dependent on location.
Pinterest is our go-to for floral inspiration of all kinds. Here are just a few of our favourite kale flower arrangements…
What do you think of kale flowers? Will you be putting them on display in your home soon?