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Brassica oleracea gongylodes - L.

Common Name Kohl Rabi
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range A cultivated form of B. oleracea, not known in the wild.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Brassica oleracea gongylodes Kohl Rabi


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Brassica oleracea gongylodes Kohl Rabi
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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 (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is self-fertile.
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.

Synonyms

B. caulorapa. Pasq.

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   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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