I found this plant in a garden near my office. I was so amused I took a picture and thought I would ask you all.

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This is an ornamental cabbage (Brassica). Conclusive identification would be possible if the plants were in flower. This has been planted with five plants in one small pot so it does not have the normal outline of leaves from top to bottom. Another way to verify the identification is to see if the topmost leaves before it starts to flower are white, pink or red.

Cabbages are biennial that flower in the second year. They do best in full sun and well drained fertile soil. When grown in hot temperatures this can speed up their cycle and move them into flowering. The list of pests and diseases is extensive and for ornamental cabbages the flowers are removed as the attraction is in the foliage.

  • Agree with ID or ornamental cabbage, but they look as if the central 'heart', which would have been probably deep pink, has long since passed and opened out into foliage.
    – Bamboo
    Mar 8 '13 at 18:43
  • Thanks Bamboo, it's hard to tell whether these plants look like what is possible under ideal conditions given the wide range or appearance of all the cultivars.
    – kevinskio
    Mar 8 '13 at 18:48
  • i don't think conclusive identification could be made if it was in flower... as you would be trying to id it vs another member of its own species... it is a cabbage or a kale... I vote kale, but it is just sematics... if it had a thick stem it would be kohlrabi etc. Mar 8 '13 at 20:21
  • I'm pretty sure its cabbage - now well bolted!
    – Bamboo
    Mar 9 '13 at 0:00
  • What distinction are you using to differentiate between a cabbage that doesn't form a head and kale? It is from the same species. Mar 9 '13 at 5:46

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