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Brassica oleracea gongylodes - L.                
                 
Common Name Kohl Rabi
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
Synonyms B. caulorapa. Pasq.
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range A cultivated form of B. oleracea, not known in the wild.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Brassica oleracea gongylodes is a BIENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Brassica oleracea gongylodes Kohl Rabi


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Szyx
Brassica oleracea gongylodes Kohl Rabi
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22198928@N00
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Stem.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - cooked[142]. Used as a vegetable, though the quality is not as good as cabbage. The young leaves can also be added to salads, though some people find them difficult to digest. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Stem - raw or cooked. The plant produces a swollen stem just above ground level, and this is often used as a root vegetable[K]. It has a mild cabbage flavour, when finely grated it makes a good addition to mixed salads and, when cooked, is an excellent vegetable[K]. It is best eaten whilst fairly small and tender, between golf ball and tennis ball size. It becomes coarse with age[33, 116, 142]. A nutritional analysis is available[218].
Composition                                         
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)
  • 320 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 0%
  • Protein: 23.5g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 62.5g; Fibre: 13g; Ash: 10.5g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 430mg; Phosphorus: 450mg; Iron: 10.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 80mg; Potassium: 3100mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 15000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.6mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.7mg; Niacin: 4.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 670mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes: The figures given here are the median of a range that was given in the reference.
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Digestive;  Tonic.

The leaf is digestive and tonic[218].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil, though it is best not grown in an acid soil[16, 33]. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.5. Prefers some shade and plenty of moisture in the growing season[20, 37]. Established plants are drought tolerant but the best stems are formed when the plant does not go short of moisture[20, 37]. Succeeds in maritime gardens[200]. Very winter hardy, kohl rabi withstands severe frosts and so can be left in the ground all winter in most areas and be harvested as required. The young growing plant, however, is sensitive to low temperatures and a week at 10°c will cause the plants to bolt[200]. It grows best at a temperature between 18 and 25°c[200]. Kohl rabi is often cultivated for its edible swollen stem which can be available almost all year round from successional sowings. There are several named varieties and stem colour can range from white to green and purple[200]. Green forms are faster to mature and so more suitable for early sowings, the purple forms are hardier and later to mature, they are used mainly for winter crops[200]. Very fast growing, the stems of some cultivars can be harvested 6 - 8 weeks after sowing[33]. The plant is more tolerant of drought and high temperatures than turnips, which it resembles in flavour, and so it is often grown as a substitute for that species[200]. Grows well with onions, beet and aromatic herbs which seem to reduce insect predations[18, 20, 201]. Plants also grow well with cucumbers, the roots of each species occupying different levels in the soil[201]. Grows badly with strawberries, runner beans and tomatoes[18, 20, 201].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow April to August in situ. Earlier sowings can be made under cloches.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[16]Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook.
A good guide to growing vegetables in temperate areas, not entirely organic.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[33]Organ. J. Rare Vegetables for Garden and Table.
Unusual vegetables that can be grown outdoors in Britain. A good guide.
[37]Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant.
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
[116]Brooklyn Botanic Garden Oriental Herbs and Vegetables, Vol 39 No. 2.
A small booklet packed with information.
[142]Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man.
Readable but not very comprehensive.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[201]Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting.
A well produced and very readable book.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.

Readers comment                                         
 
Paulo B.
Jun 27 2011 12:00AM
Another detail. Cucumbers can actually grow in partial shade. I grew them in Austria in a garden with only 3 hours of direct sunlight, in a fertile soil, humid conditions and a hot summer, with mulching and the cucumbers climbing a shrub. The "forest garden" setting gave me a huge crop of cucumbers. So, I would try them in your forest garden, in partial shade in countries with hot summers, such as Continental Europe.
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