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Marrow Stem Kale

Brassica oleracea var. medullosa

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Marrow Stem Kale (Brassica oleracea var. medullosa) at Roger's Gardens

Marrow Stem Kale

Marrow Stem Kale

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  3 feet

Spacing:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  (annual)


A unique cool weather performer; growing upwards of 36" tall, these edible leaves are large and full of strong cabbage flavor; young tender leaves are delicious when added to salads; harvest from autumn to late spring and even over winter

Edible Qualities

Marrow Stem Kale is an annual vegetable plant that is typically grown for its edible qualities. The oval green leaves with hints of bluish-green are usually harvested from early fall to late spring. The leaves have a bitter taste.

The leaves are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Eating When Cooked/Prepared
  • Cooking
  • Baking

Planting & Growing

Marrow Stem Kale will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When planted in rows, individual plants should be spaced approximately 24 inches apart. This fast-growing vegetable plant is an annual, which means that it will grow for one season in your garden and then die after producing a crop.

This plant is typically grown in a designated vegetable garden. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average conditions that are neither too wet nor too dry, and is very intolerant of standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America, and it is considered by many to be an heirloom plant.

Marrow Stem Kale is a good choice for the vegetable garden, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Garden  Container 
Ornamental Features