Taunton Deane is a perennial kale from England, that appears similar to the Purple Tree Collard at first glance. The leaves are around 8 inches long and are silvery green in color with purple midribs. In Winter, the plant will increase purple coloration in low temperatures but this is a seasonal shift. It is also known as ‘Cottager’s Kale’ a name which occurs frequently in gardening journals from at least 1859 onwards although it is unclear as to whether the Cottage’s Kale referred to was genetically identical to this one or not. Charles Darwin even was known to have grown this plant, so it has enjoyed a rich and long history in the UK. There were apparently more perennial kales in the past, and this is one of the few that has remained.
The flavor profile of Taunton Deane Kale is refreshingly different than their tree collard cousins. They remain sweet even in late spring months. Like the Purple Tree Collard, it is shy to flower and produce seed, but it does on occassion. In Europe, it is grown in food forests and homesteads much like the Purple Tree Collard. Until recently it hasn’t been readily available in the United States, making it a rare perennial kale.
In England, plants can grow 6 ft tall (or more) and are more tolerant of heavy rain and cold than most tree collards. Our plants are grown in part shade and have endured 3-4 feet of snow for a few weeks. After the snow melted and temperatures warmed, you couldn’t possibly imagine that they had just been under the weight of deep snow. They also withstand hot, dry, summers up to 112 degrees in part shade. Plant 3-4 feet apart. Perennial in USDA zones 7-10.
The plant is in a 2″ compostable container and is three or four inches tall, but should grow quickly. Yours may have one top or be multi-trunked. They will not look identical to the photos and the purple coloration is greater in cool temperatures. Some of the leaves may arrive slightly yellowed from shipping. Basic instructions for growing tree collards are included.
Please note that while we hope that every order we ship thrives in your garden, we cannot be responsible for plants that freeze or get cooked in your mailbox or suffer for any other reason outside of our control. Please consider the weather in your region when ordering. We do our best to ensure a safe journey for your plants but cannot be responsible for weather-related damage. If there is a defect with your order please take photos and contact us within 24 hours of arrival. We hope you enjoy your plants!