Ornamental cabbage and kale (also known as “flowering” cabbage and kale) are in the same species (Brassica oleracea) as edible cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. While ornamental cabbage and kale are edible, they tend to have a bitter flavour and are often used in a culinary setting as garnishes. Ornamental cabbage and kale are prized primarily as colourful additions to home gardens where they are grown for their large rosettes of white, pink, purple or red leaves.
Technically, ornamental cabbage and kale are all kales (kales produce leaves in a tight rosettes; cabbages produce heads). But in the horticultural trade, ornamental kale is the term used for types with deeply-cut, curly, frilly or ruffled leaves. Ornamental cabbage is the term used for types with broad, flat leaves that are edged in a contrasting colour. Ornamental cabbage and kale grow approximately 30 cm and 45 cm tall. There are many cultivars that are commercially available.