Where can I find Sea Kale
Sea Kale grows in coastal areas of the UK and Europe, though it is rare in Northern Ireland. It grows in sand, shingle and rocky beach areas, above the tide line.
What time of year can I find Sea Kale
Various stages of growth are visible throughout the year but the younger edible shoots and leaves can be found from March to May, or a little later if you are lucky. The older leaves are available through most of the year. Its flowers, which are also edible, are available from May to June and the seeds from June to July. These are best when very new before they become too hard. The roots are available all year round but it is illegal to uproot a plant without permission from the landowner in the UK.
How to identify Sea Kale
Sea Kale is difficult to confuse with other species that grow in the same habitat. Its shoots are deep purple and its leaves become a pretty mid green blue colour. The leaves grow quite large and are reminiscent of typical cabbage, veiny and wavy with a squeaky, smooth texture.
The pea-like seed pods are pale green-yellow, turning pale yellow-brown, hard and dry with age. The flowers smell like honey and are white with four petals, appearing in clusters.
Uses for Sea Kale
All parts of Sea Kale are edible, though old seed pods are too hard to eat, as are very old leaves which require a lot of cooking to be eaten. Young shoots and leaves are delicious steamed and served in place of asparagus in dishes.
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