Herb: Cabbage

Latin name: Brassica oleracea capitata

Family: Cruciferae

Edible parts of Cabbage:

Leaves - raw or cooked. Cabbages are generally used as a cooked vegetable, though the shredded leaves can also be eaten in salads. Dutch cabbages are generally sweeter and milder in flavour making them more suitable for raw eating. Those leaves in the heart of the plants are more tender than outside leaves and so are also more suitable for eating raw. These heart leaves, though, are less nutritious because they have been excluded from the light. Many people find that the raw leaves give them indigestion. The leaves can be fermented and made into sauerkraut, used as a health food and said to be good for the digestive system. By careful selection of cultivars, it is possible to harvest cabbages all year round. Seeds - sprouted and added to salads. Very good eating.

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Other uses of Cabbage:

A blue dye can be obtained from the leaves of purple cultivars.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - this can be sown from early spring to late summer in a seedbed outdoors, depending on the cultivar. The plants are moved to their final positions when about 7 - 15cm tall. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil - the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported. For a summer crop, the seed is sown in early to late spring, autumn maturing cultivars are sown in mid to late-spring and winter maturing cultivars in late spring. Winter to spring maturing cultivars are sown in mid to late summer, these are often sown in situ and thinned as required. Seed of fast-growing summer cabbages can also be sown in a greenhouse in January/February in order to provide an early crop. This is planted out in early to mid-spring as the weather allows and can be harvested in late spring and early summer.

Cultivation of Cabbage:

Not known in the wild.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Brassica oleracea capitata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.