Finding this hard to believe, Daubenton flowering Feb 19, 2011 13:23:03 GMT -5
Post by atash on Feb 19, 2011 13:23:03 GMT -5
I assume tree collards are the same as our walking stick cabbages.
Not the same, but I was once under the same impression because of some misinformation that was accidentally spread. I have seen both and I have the tree collard.
Walking stick cabbages might be perennializeable but they are biennial, bloom, and do produce seed. They are also significantly taller, but usually only produce one stem. They were reputedly NOT bred for human food, but are reputedly strong-tasting and fibrous, and were originally used as livestock feed.
The "tree collard' branches fairly freely. It is not as tall as the walking stick cabbage (in the USA we would call those "collards"). It has smaller leaves, and the leaves look intermediate between what Americans call Kale and what we call Collards. Its leaves are quite palatable to humans, raw or cooked.
Just to be clear, when I say "Collard" I mean a non-heading cabbage, and when I say "Kale", I am referring to a leafier, more salady-plant that has thinner, often purple leaves. I have heard people refer to what I call "collards" as a Kale, and I suspect that there is some different usage.
I think the tree collard is probably the same plant as the d'Aubenton; I suspect Jean Jeavons or one of his associates brought it over from Europe. BertieFox, do you know the history of this plant? I am very curious to know its origins, and am suspicious that it is a partially-sterile hybrid. It rarely blooms.
I wonder if that is why it is perennial. Blooming and setting seed seems to be what triggers senescence and dying.
I am also curious to know what happened to the plant that bloomed, and whether the seedlings are perennial.
That said, THREE of my Western Fronts have survived blooming!
Temperatures are rising, and at least one or two of them, maybe all 3 (a little nip and tuck here), will probably make it all the way to spring. I need at least 2 plants to survive, as they are self-incompatible. I plan on giving them some fertilizer, weeding around them, and letting them bloom again, on the theory that their descendants will be selected for greater longevity.
Just to be clear, their tissues DID go senescent, it's just that they produced some surviving buds at the base that have continued growing after the main shoot died. They are weak. But they did produce some, when most of their siblings did not produce any surviving buds.
I would hazard a guess that the next generation will have only slightly more propensity for surviving blooming than the previous. But, I could plant them on a significantly larger scale this autumn, and keep repeating the process, until I get plants that reliably survive blooming.