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Brassica oleracea 'White Peacock' White Peacock Flowering Kale

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


The 'White Peacock' ornamental cabbage has an open head with finely-divided foliage. It does not make the tight head common on cabbages sold in the grocery store (Capitata group). Leaves on ornamental cabbage are edible but showier than the Capitata group, and they are displayed in loose, showy rosettes. Fringed leaves are bluish-green with prominent, white veins.

Full form - Brassica oleracea 'White Peacock' White Peacock Flowering Kale
Figure 1. Full form - Brassica oleracea 'White Peacock' White Peacock Flowering Kale
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Leaf - Brassica oleracea ‘White Peacock’ White Peacock Flowering Kale
Figure 2. Leaf - Brassica oleracea ‘White Peacock’ White Peacock Flowering Kale
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Brassica oleracea 'White Peacock'

Pronunciation: BRASS-ick-uh awl-lur-RAY-see

Common name(s): 'White Peacock' flowering kale

Family: Cruciferae

Plant type: annual; biennial

USDA hardiness zones: all zones (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: Feb; Mar

Planting month for zone 8: Nov; Dec

Planting month for zone 9: Dec; Jan; Feb

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Dec; Jan; Feb

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: edging; attracts butterflies

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Credit: undefined


Height:1/2 to 1 feet

Spread: 1 to 1½ feet

Plant habit: round

Plant density: dense

Growth rate: slow

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: spiral

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: parted

Leaf shape: orbiculate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: not applicable

Leaf blade length: 8 to 12 inches

Leaf color: green; purple or red; variegated

Fall color: not applicable

Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: yellow

Flower characteristic: showy


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: usually with one stem/trunk

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable

Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in full sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; slightly alkaline; sand; loam

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Cabbage can be used reliably as a bedding plant in the fall and spring throughout the deep south. Some die back may occur in the coolest regions of the south and into north Florida in a very cold winter. It can be used throughout the winter in central and south Florida. When flowers begin to appear, it is time to remove the plants and replant with a more heat tolerant bedding plant. Propagation is by seed.

Pests and Diseases

Caterpillars can eat holes in the leaves. Although this does not kill the plant, it makes them unattractive.

Publication #FPS72

Release Date:July 26, 2022

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About this Publication

This document is FPS72, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised July 2022. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor; Ryan W. Klein; and Gail Hansen; Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman