Crambe cordifolia
Common Name: colewort 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Brassicaceae
Native Range: Caucasus
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Best grown in deep, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Foliage depreciates rapidly if soils are allowed to dry out. Does not perform well in the heat and humidity of the deep South. May need staking. Plants have tap roots and are best left undisturbed once established.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Colewort is a substantial perennial (to 7' tall and 4' wide) that requires a lot of space. Features a foliage mound (to 1.5' high) of huge, crinkled, rounded, variably-sized, cabbage-like, green leaves which are usually deeply lobed. In early summer, profuse numbers of small, 4-petaled, white flowers (1/3" across) appear on strong, widely branching stems in a huge, baby's breath-like cloud of sweetly fragrant bloom which hovers above and nearly envelops the foliage mound. Bloom height generally ranges from 4-6' tall (less frequently to 7'). Flower show can be spectacular but lasts only 3 weeks.


No serious disease problems. Caterpillars often feed on the foliage. Leaf scorch may occur in hot summer climates, particularly if soils dry out. Staking of flowering stems is usually required.


Accent for open sunny areas. Periphery of border. Cottage gardens. Wild gardens.