Three New Ornamental Vegetables

FN 1.01 BRA January King
First: Cabbage ‘January King’ is a French vegetable and an American Ornamental

We’ve brought three varieties up from the showy vegetable garden into our Ornamentals line and first we have a French Cabbage. Like most edible Cabbages—and unlike the Ornamentals—‘January King’ forms a head rather than a loose rosette. Notice its signature look: swirling violet color in the outer leaves wrapping around the head. Right off the bat we knew this was an eye-catcher so we included it in this year’s production. A touch of Savoy-style blistering gives the Cabbage a beautiful ruffled appearance.

FN 1.05 BRA January King
‘January King’ has the texture of a Savoy with swirls of purple working around it

They call it ‘January King’ for a reason: this is one of the best varieties for cold weather—a great bonus for an Ornamental since it is very hardy and frost-resistant. As a matter of fact, the colder it gets the redder the leaf color becomes, a surprising sight gleaming out from under a light dusting of snow. If you do grow it as a vegetable: the heads are tightly packed, it stays crisp and crunchy through the start of winter, and it’s full of delicious sweet flavor.

FN 1.03 Bok Choi Violetta
Second: Pac Choi ‘Violetta’ brings a dark red to the classic Pac Choi vase shape

‘Violetta’ has a pretty vase shape like most Pac Choi varieties, making it popular as an Ornamental. This Chinese Cabbage is especially showy, with dark ruby-purple leaves. We notice the brilliant streaks of the stems and veins right away, in contrasting vivid bright green. Add to that its smooth, glossy texture and you have a dramatic specimen to dress up the garden or dinner plate.

Pac Choi is gaining a reputation as a gourmand’s vegetable and this red will only burnish the reputation. When used in cooking, it has a crunchy texture and crisp, sweet flavor. Small leaves are used in salads; once they get larger we stir-fry them. ‘Violetta’ is particularly nice for stir-frying because the leaves retain that intense purple even after cooking, bumping up the nutrition and the WOW factor of a dish at the same time.

FN 1.04 Beet Fresh Start
Third: Beet ‘Fresh Start’ is eaten as a salad green rather than as a root vegetable

‘Fresh Start’ is a Beet that follows the rhythm of a different drummer, with no usable Beet root. That’s right—it’s grown as a baby leaf salad green, and we have to say it makes a beautiful presentation in the garden. These brilliant green leaves are crisp and clean with vivid magenta stems and matching well-defined veins.

FN 1.02 Beet Fresh Start
‘Fresh Start’ is an Ornamental Beet—bright green leaves have stark red stems

According to the National Garden Bureau, 2018 is the Year of the Beet so add sweet and crunchy ‘Fresh Start’ to your salad mix for fall. Beet greens taste best when grown in the cool weather, and this variety is both very uniform and very disease-resistant. You can look forward to harvesting nice healthy bunches of beautiful baby Beet greens for your salad bowl.

Cabbage ‘January King’, Pac Choi ‘Violetta’, and Beet ‘Fresh Start’ are available in the 6-inch pot. ‘January King’ comes in the 8-inch pot as well.

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