Kale seed offering

Had a look just out of curiosity. Nice collection of kales. I noticed that the offering says the kales are Brassica oleracea but also says that there are ruso-siberian kales in the mix. Aren’t these Brassica napus? Or are the two species packaged separately?

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We’ll need to wait for Joseph Zarr to arrive … awkward transition pangs :slight_smile:


Do B. oleracea and B. napus cross? Actually I am wondering about that with Brassica in general, since I have over 30 varieties of Brassica - 18 B. rapa; 6 B. juncae; 2 B. napus; 4 B. nipposinica; and 1 B. pekinensis. I have not yet made a plan for them but have to work out what to do, which to keep separate and which to plant together… for example I have 3 turnips (B. rapa) that I can plant together but it would make sense to keep them separate from tatsoi for example. (I have a couple of tatsoi so I can plant them together). I have a B. rapa oil seed variety also which I probably want to keep separate.

But there then there’s komatsuna, hayachinena, chidimina, bashona, ho tsai tai, Hiroshimana, and kakina. Not sure if I really want to mix them all together - suggestions? And then if the various Brassica species cross easily, again, worth planting a patch with all (or some) of them together, or…?

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I think I read somewhere that B. napus was a hybrid of B. oleracea and B. rapa, and can cross with either, but it doesn’t usually. I’m not sure if that’s accurate!

Let me see what Google says.


Yeah, it looks like it’s probably accurate.

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The so-called Triangle of U shows the purported evolutionary relationship between the six agronomically important Brassica crops - B. oleracea, B. carinata, B. nigra, B. juncea, B. rapa and B. napus. The first, third and fifth are diploids and the other three are tetraploids supposedly resulting from spontaneous crosses between the diploids e.g., B. oleracea is thought to have crossed with B. rapa producing B. napus.


An impressive amount of Brassicas you have Justin. I freaked out with not even a third of thèse. I’ve been cutting flowers daily at first.
People have proposed that because many brassica seeds demain viable for years, that within easily crossing varieties, to simply pick one subvariety to set seed and the next year it’s another subvariety that gets to set seed. I never done that though.
I separated by as many feet i could plants i didn’t want to cross. Brussel sprouts and brocoli for instance. But in a smaller garden that’s going to be tricky, maybe someone wants to volunteer to grow for you!

I have a cross between two leafy kales, a Borekale and a Russian Red Kale which is bigger and way more vigorous than both parents. Borekale really suffers from snail and insects attacks. This cross just doesn’t care and keeps going.
So totally worth it to experiment with i’d say. Especially with the ones easily obtainable without travelling to Birma!

What else did they say. Different flowering time and different flower shape led to less cross polination because differing size insects pollinate them.


Yes I didn’t know when I would ever get the chance to get those seeds from Japan again, so I took the opportunity to prepare for the future, since the seeds will last. But I was also bearing in mind the lessons of needing diversity for landracing! The brassicas won’t be my highest priority this year but if I do get enough space I would enjoy to start landracing (and eating!) some of them at least! Thanks for the encouragement.

Wow that’s a very good point!

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We grow brassica annually and save the seeds, not sure of the varieties binomial nomenclature but they are various colors and leaf shapes.

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If napus kale is a tetraploid, is it more difficult to select traits and get those traits to continue into the next generation? It’s my limited understanding that tetraploids (and other polyploids) are much more complicated in how they pass on genetics. I think this is why true potatoe seed gives you seemingly random potatoes. Is this true of napus kale as well?

Given that there are a good number of stable napus cultivars reproducible from seed my guess is that, in some sense, they behave more like diploids. Not being a geneticist I have no idea how this works, if it’s true.
I haven’t yet tried any napus crosses though I do intend to develop a swede (rutabaga) landrace starting next season so I might get some idea of how messy it might be.

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Ok thanks! Not sure if I’m over thinking it. I’ll probably just stick with oleracea for now.