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Brassica oleracea 'White Peacock' White Peacock Flowering Kale1

Edward F. Gilman 2


The 'White Peacock' ornamental cabbage has an open head with finely-divided foliage (Fig. 1). It does not make the tight head common on cabbages sold in the grocery store (Capitata group). Leaves on ornamental cabbage are edible but more showy than the Capitata group, and they are displayed in loose, showy rosettes. Fringed leaves are bluish-green with prominent, white veins.

Figure 1. 'White Peacock' flowering kale.
Figure 1.  'White Peacock' flowering kale.

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 (Fig. 2)
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
Uses: edging; attracts butterflies
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2.  Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: .5 to 1 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 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
Invasive potential: not known to be invasive
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.


1. This document is FPS72, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #FPS72

Date: 5/5/2015

      Organism ID


      • Gail Hansen de Chapman