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Herbaceous Perennial

Crambe cordifolia
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

greater sea kale

C. cordifolia is an herbaceous perennial to 1.8m in height, with bold, dark green, lobed leaves to 30cm in width, and branched sprays of small, scented white flowers

Other common names
flowering sea kale
heart-leaved colewort

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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Brassicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Crambe are robust annuals and perennials with large, simple or divided leaves and racemes or large panicles of small, fragrant white flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Caucasus

How to grow

Cultivation

Ideally grow in a deep, fertile, well-drained soil in full sun although it will tolerate poor soil and partial shade. Provide shelter from strong winds.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in pots in a cold frame in spring or autumn or propagate by division in early spring or take root cuttings in winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut down to ground level in autumn

Pests

Can get flea beetles, slugs and caterpillars

Diseases

May suffer from club root

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