Is Ornamental Cabbage Edible? All You Need to Know

Is Ornamental Cabbage Edible
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As a beautiful and popular ornamental plant, ornamental cabbage is often used to decorate gardens and landscapes. Its vibrant colors and intricate leaves make it an eye-catching addition to any outdoor space. However, have you ever wondered if ornamental cabbage is edible?

In this article, will explore the world of ornamental cabbage and answer the question, “is ornamental cabbage edible?” Knowing whether or not you can eat this plant is crucial, especially if you have it growing in your garden. So, let’s dive in!

What is Ornamental Cabbage?

Learn how to grow your own ornamental cabbage in your garden
Learn how to grow your own ornamental cabbage in your garden


Ornamental cabbage, also known as flowering kale, is a non-edible plant that belongs to the Brassica oleracea species. It is a type of cabbage that is grown for its colorful leaves and intricate patterns rather than for consumption. The term “ornamental” refers to its decorative purposes, and it is commonly used in gardens, flower beds, and landscaping.


Ornamental cabbage is a biennial plant that can grow up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide. The leaves are typically green, purple, white, or pink and have a wavy or ruffled appearance. The plant requires full sun or partial shade to grow and can withstand cold temperatures, making it a popular plant in the fall and winter months.


There are several varieties of ornamental cabbage, each with its unique colors and patterns. Some popular varieties include:

  • Osaka Pink: This variety has pink and white leaves with a frilly texture.
  • Redbor: This variety has deep purple leaves with a frilly texture.
  • Peacock White: This variety has white and green leaves with a smooth texture.
  • Nagoya Red: This variety has red and green leaves with a smooth texture.

Ornamental cabbage is a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape, and its unique characteristics make it stand out from other plants. However, it’s important to remember that ornamental cabbage is not intended for consumption, and it is essential to know the difference between edible and non-edible plants.

Nutritional Value of Ornamental Cabbage

Find out the differences in nutritional value between ornamental and edible cabbage
Find out the differences in nutritional value between ornamental and edible cabbage

Ornamental cabbage is not only visually stunning but also packed with nutrients that are beneficial to our health. Here are some of the vitamins and minerals found in ornamental cabbage:

Vitamins and Minerals Content

  • Vitamin C: Ornamental cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and promoting healthy skin.
  • Vitamin K: This plant is also high in vitamin K, which plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone health.
  • Calcium: Ornamental cabbage contains calcium, which is essential for building strong bones and teeth.
  • Iron: Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells and for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Ornamental cabbage is a great source of this mineral.

Health Benefits

Consuming ornamental cabbage can provide numerous health benefits, including:

  • Boosting immune function: As mentioned, ornamental cabbage is high in vitamin C, which can help strengthen your immune system.
  • Reducing inflammation: The antioxidants found in ornamental cabbage can help reduce inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  • Promoting healthy digestion: Ornamental cabbage is high in fiber, which can help improve digestion and prevent constipation.

Consumption Recommendations

To reap the nutritional benefits of ornamental cabbage, it is recommended to consume it cooked rather than raw. You can add it to soups, stir-fries, or steam it as a side dish. However, it is essential to note that if you are consuming ornamental cabbage, you must be sure it is edible and not treated with harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Can Ornamental Cabbage Be Eaten?

Discover the health benefits of adding ornamental cabbage to your diet
Discover the health benefits of adding ornamental cabbage to your diet

If you’re wondering whether you can eat ornamental cabbage, the answer is yes! However, not all parts of the plant are edible, and there are a few precautions you should take before consuming it.

Edible Parts

The leaves of ornamental cabbage are the only edible part of the plant. They are similar to regular cabbage and can be cooked in various ways. They have a slightly bitter taste, so it’s essential to balance their flavor with other ingredients in your dishes.

Culinary Uses

Ornamental cabbage can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, stir-fries, and soups. You can also sauté the cabbage leaves with garlic and butter or use them as a substitute for regular cabbage in recipes.

Precautions to Take Before Consuming

Before eating ornamental cabbage, there are a few precautions you should take. First, make sure to wash the leaves thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Second, avoid eating ornamental cabbage if it has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. Finally, if you have any allergies or sensitivities to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, it’s best to avoid eating ornamental cabbage.

In summary, ornamental cabbage is edible, and its leaves can be used in various culinary dishes. However, it’s important to take precautions and ensure that you’re consuming it safely.

Ornamental Cabbage vs. Edible Cabbage

When it comes to cabbage, there are two main types: ornamental cabbage and edible cabbage. While they may look similar, there are a few key differences between the two.

Differences in Appearance

The most noticeable difference between ornamental cabbage and edible cabbage is their appearance. Ornamental cabbage is grown for its striking foliage, which comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Edible cabbage, on the other hand, is grown for its dense, tightly packed leaves, which are typically green or purple.

Nutritional Value Comparison

In terms of nutritional value, edible cabbage is the clear winner. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Ornamental cabbage, on the other hand, is not commonly eaten and is not as nutritionally dense as its edible counterpart.

Culinary Uses Comparison

While edible cabbage is a staple in many dishes, ornamental cabbage is typically used for decorative purposes only. In fact, some varieties of ornamental cabbage may be toxic if ingested in large quantities, so it’s important to stick to using it as a decorative plant.

Overall, while ornamental cabbage may look similar to edible cabbage, it is important to remember that they are two different plants with very different purposes. If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich addition to your diet, stick to edible cabbage and leave the ornamental varieties for decoration purposes only.


In conclusion, we have learned that ornamental cabbage is not only a beautiful plant but also a nutritious one. Although it may not be as popular as its edible counterparts, it has many health benefits and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

So, is ornamental cabbage edible? The answer is yes, but only certain parts of the plant are safe for consumption. It is essential to know which parts are edible and how to prepare them properly to avoid any health risks.

At, we strive to provide accurate and informative content about cabbage and its many benefits. We hope this article has helped you understand more about ornamental cabbage and its edibility.

Remember to always do your research before consuming any new plant, and consult a medical professional if you have any concerns. With that said, go ahead and enjoy the beauty and nutrition that ornamental cabbage has to offer!