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What is this plant??? Its Walking Stick Kale / Jersey Kale!!!!

12 years ago

Some of you might remember about 4 weeks ago I asked what this plant was? A guy growing it in his front yard, who doesn't speak English, ripped me off a branch of it from his plant ... indicated that I should plant it about 10 inches deep, and then said, "Water lots".

He didn't know (or couldn't communicate) what it was, or where it came from, I even went back, and couldn't get answers.

None of us could figure out exactly what it was, but you guys were spot on ... everyone was nosing around Collards or Kale. But, it was sooooo much taller than all the Collards and Kale we could find images of.

Well, I never stopped looking and I finally found out what it is called ... "Walking Stick Kale" or "Jersey Kale" (brassica oleracea var. longata) This plant is restricted in Oklahoma and Texas!

It is from the Channel Islands, and the reason most of us haven't seen it before is because its very uncommon in North America, reportedly because the seeds are hard to get (I do not know why ... I'm a novice Gardner).

The plant grows 6-10ft tall, and once its run its course (about 3-4 years), the trunk is stripped, dried, and varnished, and used as ... yep, walking sticks. There's some reports that if you just let it go, it will grow to as high as 18ft!

Like I said, supposedly the seeds are very hard to come by, but the plant is very hardy. You can rip off a branch, throw it in the ground (like I did) and it will grow. So I guess this plants ancestor was carried over here as a plant, not seed.

And its prolific as hell guys ... I'm telling you, we've eaten off the plant like 3 times in the last month, and its still growing like mad. It twice as big now, as it was when I took the picture below.

And so far, because the leaves are up off the ground, I haven't really had any pest problems. That's my broccoli its growing into there ... yes that is a problem, but that's just a lack-of-experience problem with me.

And YES, it tastes awesome. We roll up the leaf, cut it into strips, quickly blanch it, stir fry it with some onions and garlic in a little olive oil ... throw it over some rice. OMG! Soooo good and easy to fix.

So I present to you again ... "Walking Stick Kale":


Thanks for all the help ... you guys did get me looking in the right direction. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Good YouTube Video on Walking Stick Kale

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