Sea kale Facts

Sea kale Facts
Sea kale is flowering plant that belongs to the cabbage family. It grows natively along the coast of Atlantic Ocean in Europe (and stretches all the way to the Black sea). Sea kale can be found on the sandy and rocky coasts and cliffs, on the moist, salty soil. It requires plenty of sun for the successful growth and development. Sea kale is part of human diet for thousands of year. Cultivation of this plant started in the 17th century and lasted until the beginning of the Second World War. Even though it is still used as food in some areas, sea kale is mostly cultivated in ornamental purposes today.
Interesting Sea kale Facts:
Sea kale grows in the form of small bush. It can reach 3 feet in height and width.
Sea kale has fleshy, deeply lobed leaves with wavy margins. They are green-colored with purple veins and smooth at touch.
Sea kale produces white flowers arranged in dense, terminal clusters. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Sea kale blooms from June to August. Fragrant flowers filled with nectar attract bees, wasps and butterflies that are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of sea kale is pod filled with seeds.
Sea kale propagates via seeds, division and root cuttings. When cultivated from seed, sea kale reaches maturity 100 days after sowing, but its nutritional value isn't optimal until the third season.
Sea kale is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamin C, iodine and sulphur.
Young, fleshy, white root of sea kale has sweetish taste and contains more starch than potato. It can be consumed raw or cooked. Root of some varieties of sea kale can be used as a substitute for horseradish.
Leaves of sea kale have kale-like taste (hence the name). They can be consumed as salad greens or cooked like spinach.
Fresh leaf stalks of sea kale are crispy and have slightly bitter, hazelnut-like taste. They can be consumed raw or cooked like asparagus. Due to short lifespan, fresh leaf stalks need to be consumed shortly after the harvest.
Young flower stalks and flower buds of sea kale have broccoli-like flavor. They are prepared and consumed exactly the same like broccoli.
Sea kale had been on the menu of ancient Romans during the long voyages on the sea (to prevent scurvy). Unlike leaf stalks, root is not perishable and it can be stored for later use.
Sea kale can be also used as a source of food for cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry.
Sea kale regulates level of hormones in the body, boosts immune system, stimulates metabolism and urination, improves digestion and functioning of kidney. Due to high content of starch, it can be used for gaining of weight.
Sea kale is perennial plant with average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

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