Faux Ornamental Cabbage Stem feature realistic purple and green cabbage silk screened leaves and makes a wonderful faux floral arrangement. Mix with other floral and greens for a statement decor accent.
DIMENSIONS: 15" H x 5" DIA
FACTS & HISTORY: Today, ornamental kales and cabbages are hybridized by breeders from edible kale types with strong foliar coloration.As their common name suggests, ornamental kale and cabbage plants are grown primarily for decorative reasons. In spite of the fact that they are edible, and have been used as garnishes in recipes, their bitter taste and cabbage-like scent leave much to be desired. Nonetheless, the plants’ intensely-colored leaves and texture offer volume and strong visual interest, making them coveted accent plants by designers and home gardeners.
You may not find this kind of kale in your produce department. Although ornamental kales are relatives of vegetables like the cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower we eat today, these perennial and biennial herbs have been cultivated for their good looks, not so much for their taste.
Natives of Southern and Western Europe and temperate regions of China and Japan, ornamental kales and cabbages have ancient origins that date back at least 4,000 years. Historically, the propagation of wild members of kale and cabbage (in the Brassica oleracea species) began in the Mediterranean, with the Greeks and Romans using the plants primarily as a food source. They were also seen in herbal medicines and made into poultices that could disinfect wounds.
Early travelers and traders later began spreading the plants across all corners of the globe. Once kale reached China, it was a standard ingredient in Chinese cuisine, while in Japan, ornamental foliage types were more widely grown and demanded. By the 17th century, ornamental brassicas became attractive new additions to cottage gardens as bedding plants. When ornamental types finally reached the U.S. from Japan in the 20th century, ornamental kale saw its first debut in seed catalogs in the 1930s. The rest is history.