Crambe maritima

sea kale

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Crambe maritima has dramatic texture with its bold, distinctive foliage. Its thick leaves are bluish green, roundish, and ruffled along their margins, they add an eye catching presence to the sunny garden. Sea kale is a spreading, mound-forming perennial with dozens of small white flowers that arch and drape over the plant in early summer. Native to European seashores, it is drought resistant and a natural choice for seaside gardens and well-drained, sunny banks. Combine it with grasses such as blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens), Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima), or bronzeleaf sedges like Carex comans. Add some purpleleaf sedums for contrast. Sea kale is great in containers or the mixed border-wherever dramatic foliage is desired.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading perennial

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 3 ft. 0 in. (0.91 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 2 ft. 0 in. (0.61 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: orange, yellow, pink

Great Color Partners: blue, dark green, purple

Culture Notes
Crambe maritima grows best in well-drained or sandy soil with full sun. It prefers neutral to alkaline soils and benefits from lime being added to the soil occasionally. Once established it is drought tolerant. Deadheading the flowers is not recommended. Watch for slugs or cabbage moth caterpillars in spring.