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Ornamental Kale

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December 14, 2023

Did you know kale makes a great fall and winter landscape plant? In this week’s Southern Gardening segment, Dr. Eddie Smith shares with us some ornamental kale varieties that are sure to stand out in the landscape. Today Southern Gardening is in the trial gardens at the South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, MS admiring some beautiful ornamental kale. Peacock White kale is a variety of kale that has green feathery serrated outer leaves with intricate white veins that resemble the patterns of a peacock feather. Its inner feathery leaves are white with a faint tint of pink. In contrast, Peacock Red kale has dark greenish-purple feathery serrated outer leaves with intricate purple veins. Its inner feathery serrated leaves are a bright shade of purple. The color of the leaves intensifies in cooler temperatures. Crystal Red kale is another stunningly beautiful variety of kale that adds a pop of color to any landscape. The center leaves are characterized by magnificent glossy red and purple hues that are sure to catch the eye. The outer glossy green leaves, with reddish-purple veins, frame the colorful center of this plant. One of my favorites, Osaka IQ Red kale, is a vibrant and beautiful variety of kale with dark greyish-purple outer leaves that have a reddish-purple center. The leaves have a slightly ruffled texture and are relatively large and flat with bright reddish-purple veins. All of these varieties have frilly leaves that frame a colorful center, much like flower petals, and will definitely stand out in the fall and winter landscape. I am Eddie Smith, and I will see you next time on Southern Gardening.

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