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Crambe maritima

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© RHS 1999

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Clump-forming

Fragrance

Flower

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Blue and Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

sea kale

Family

Brassicaceae


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

C. maritima is a robust herbaceous perennial to 75cm, forming a clump of large, lobed, wavy-edged blue-green leaves, with dense racemes of small white flowers in early summer

Other common names

  • sea cabbage
  • sea colewort
  • seakale

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, East-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered

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

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

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

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Cut Flowers or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Cut down to ground level in autumn

Pests

Slugs and caterpillars may be a problem

Diseases

May be subject to club root