Late last summer, I planted some seeds from a Burpee packet labeled "Radicchio, Red Verona". All but one sprouted and threw out some base leaves that did remind me of the cabbage I grew the year before. But then a white fly infestation and overgrown tomatoes conspired to destroy all but one.

In late fall I cleared the garden of all the annuals, but since that one "radicchio" was still hanging in there, I left it. It stayed green throughout winter. Then, in May, it shot up a tall stalk very quickly, which does not remind me of cabbage at all. Now it is developing a number of what look like flower heads.

So, what is it really, and what should I do with it?

My only theory is that it is out of control radicchio and this is what happens when it gets too early of a start. And if so, should I cut it off at the base, leaving a few leaves, in the hope it will grow a proper head of radicchio?

Or is it just a weed?

Mystery plant

1 Answer 1


From the picture it looks like you've got radicchio that has decided that it is too warm and is bolting. I think they look kinda nice when then bolt, personally but, of course, if you are looking for a tight head of radicchio, this isn't probably what you want.

I think radicchio is a bit finicky - it can bolt when it's too warm, when it doesn't get enough water, when it's soil nutrient levels are off. I've had no luck growing it here in VA though in being completely transparent, when I've tried, I've been a bit of a poor steward and it's no wonder it didn't work well in my garden.

You can certainly try cutting it off low and seeing if you can get it to grow. Otherwise a heck of a lot of energy is being sent upward to develop seed heads.

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