Crambe Crambe maritima in Estonia Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Rosids Order: Brassicales Family: Brassicaceae Genus: Crambe
About 20 species, including:
Crambe is a genus of Brassicaceae native to Europe, southwest and central Asia and eastern Africa. It includes among its species seakale (Crambe maritima), grown as a leaf vegetable, Crambe cordifolia which is grown as an herbaceous border perennial, and Crambe abyssinica, which is grown for an oil from the seeds that has similar characteristics to whale oil.
As a perennial garden plant it produces spectacular and large sprays of flowers some 1.5 m tall. These flowers comprise numerous small pale yellow to white florets distributed in three dimensions on slender but firm stems. They have a strong and pleasant fragrance of honey. The leaves are unimpressive, looking like common cabbage leaves, although even they are quite good at ground coverage. The plant was somewhat popular in the Victorian era, fell from common usage in the 20th Century and is now making a comeback. It is a bold and impressive plant that fills a considerable volume of space.
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