Brassica napus (Pabularia Group)

Common Name: Siberian kale 
Type: Annual
Family: Brassicaceae
Zone: 2 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual, Vegetable
Leaf: Colorful


Grow in organically rich, consistently moist, well-composted, well-drained loams in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Soil pH should be between 6 and 7. Established plants are winter hardy to 10°F. In St. Louis, seed may be sown indoors in early March for a spring harvest (transplant seedlings into the garden about 4 weeks prior to last spring frost date), but best growth may occur when plants are sown for fall harvest (sow seed in mid-July/early August for fall harvest. Plants perform poorly and should not be grown in the heat of the summer. In mild winter climates, seed may be sown in the garden about 6 weeks prior to first fall frost date with plants overwintering as biennials. Mulch to help plants survive cold temperatures. Plant seed in rows to 24" apart. Thin seedlings to 16" apart. Plants mature in about 60 days.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Brassica napus (Pabularia Group) is commonly called Siberian kale. It is native to northern Asia and northern Europe. It primarily differs from a second type of kale known as Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group) by having (a) milder flavor, (b) more tenderness, (c) better resistance to the diseases/insects common to Brassicas and (d) better winter hardiness. Flat blue green leaves with white veins and ruffled edges. Plants typically mature to 12-18" tall and to 24" wide. Brassica napus (Oleifera Group) is grown primarily for vegetable oils including canola. Brassica napus (Napobrassica Group) includes rutabagas.

Genus name comes from the classical Latin name for cabbage.


This kale has less susceptibility to the typical insect and disease problems that often occur with other members of the Brassica family. Potential insect problems include aphids, fungus gnats, loopers, whitefly, cabbageworms, root maggots and flea beetles. Potential disease problems include club root, leaf spots, black rot, blackleg, and yellows. Damping off may affect young seedlings.


Vegetable gardens.