Merritt Collards are a perennial brassica plant hardy to 25°, possibly lower. We propagated it from a cutting at Merritt College in Oakland, thus the name. The original plant probably self seeded in the garden from the numerous brassica species that all bloom at the same time. The plants in our nursery beds are now three years old and have produced seeds several times. After flowering and setting seed in the spring, they return to vigorous vegetative growth. The leaves on our plants often measure over 2 ft long and weigh up to 1/2 a pound.
Like other collard greens, Merritt collards are very nutritious. They are high in Vitamins B1, B2, B9, C, and beta-Carotene. They are also a great source of fiber. The greens are delicious.
Eventually your plants may produce flowers later in the spring. If so, let them flower and set some seeds. Then remove the flower stalk and they will resume vigorous leaf growth. They tend to make a very strong central stalk, and are more compact than purple tree collards. They can be propagated by cuttings once you get your first plant established.
These vigorous cuttings are usually as wide as a quarter or wider! Please have high quality potting soil and some 1 gallon containers on hand for their arrival. Highly recommended plant!