Yellow kale flowers

When kale comes to the end of its two-year life cycle, it produces the most glorious edible yellow flowers.

This time of year always brings the most solemn of goodbyes to an old friend. My kale plants, which start their life as seedlings in April and stay by my side so very loyally through foul weather, are on their way out. Fortunately they know how to go out with a bang.

Kale is a biennial and flowers in its second year of growth before dying. But unlike lettuces, which taste so very hideous once they’ve bolted, this plant stays edible, and provides a little extra gift on top.

yellow kale flowers

Kale flowers are gorgeous. They look incredible, perched atop a pyramid of foliage on, waving in the wind at the edge of my balcony. People in the street stare at them. I eat them.

edible kale flowers

I’ve already written about cooking the unopened flower stalks like purple-sprouting broccoli, but I also enjoy serving them as a garnish to cooked kale leaves once they are in full bloom.

edible kale flowers

I throw them over the leaves just as I’m putting the dish on the table. They don’t taste of much, but they look splendid.


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4 Responses

  1. Caro Shrives

    I’ve been having a similar love affair with my Tozer brussels sprouts. Beautiful to look at, being the most gorgeous purple and green plant, delicious nutty sprouts throughout the winter and suddenly ‘bolting’ to produce stems very like purple sprouting broccoli in both looks and taste. Green sprouts produced bee-loved yellow flowers like your kale which, again, were deliciously edible! I’m still eating my kale and didn’t know it would produce stems and flowers at the end – I heaved the plants out when they bolted last year to make room for summer veg, this year I’ll leave them. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Bria

    Beautiful! I love leaving some purple cabbage to go to seed so I can admire the pretty yellow flowers in Spring but I didn’t realize kale would have pretty flowers too.

    • F&F

      That’s very true Lindy: there are always bees buzzing around my plants on the balcony.


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