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Edible uses


Young leaves - raw or cooked like spinach[1][2][3][4][5]. They have a pleasant almost nutty flavour and go well in a mixed salad[K]. They also make a very pleasant cooked vegetable[K]. Older leaves develop a bitterness and are not so pleasant[K].

Young shoots - raw or cooked[6][7][3][8][5]. Available in the spring, they have a delicate nutty flavour with a crisp texture[9][10]. The shoots are usually blanched and can be cooked like asparagus[1][5]. When properly cooked they retain their crispness and have a very agreeable flavour, somewhat like hazelnuts but with a slight bitterness[5]. Root - cooked. Rich in starch and sugars[11].

Young flower buds - raw or cooked[10]. The flowering shoots are harvested when about 10 - 15cm long and before the flowers have opened. Used like sprouting broccoli, they are quite nice raw and delicious when lightly steamed[K].



Material uses

Plants can be used for ground cover when spaced about 60cm apart each way[12].
There are no material uses listed for Crambe maritima.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Crambe maritima.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Soil surface

Ecological Functions

Ground cover


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow March/April in a seedbed outdoors and either thin the plants out or move them to their permanent positions when about 10cm tall[13]. Plants can be cropped once they are more than 12 months old[10]. The young plants are very attractive to slugs so some protection will often be needed.

Germination can be slow so it is best to sow the seed in pots in a cold frame[14]. Germination usually takes place in 3 - 26 weeks at 15°c[14]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions when they are at least 10cm tall. Division in spring or autumn[15][13]. Dig up the root clump and cut off as many sections as you require, making sure they all have at least one growing point. The larger of these divisions can be planted out straight into their permanent positions, though small ones are best potted up and grown on in a cold frame until they are established.

Root cuttings, 3 - 10 cm long, in spring[16]. These can be planted straight into the open ground or you can pot them up in the greenhouse and plant them out once they are growing strongly.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Crambe maritima. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


An easily grown plant, succeeding in a good loam and an open sunny position[15][13][9] but also tolerating some shade[17]. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil in a position sheltered from strong winds[9] (this report totally conflicts with the plants native habitat which is on sea shores - we have found this species to be very tolerant of strong maritime winds though it does not like cold northerlies much[K]). Tolerates poor soil and some shade[9]. Dislikes acid[15] and very stiff soils[3]. Prefers a rich , well-drained very deep sandy loam and a pH of 7[16][10]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[18].

This species is hardy to about -20°c[19], it grows best in a cool maritime climate[9]. Seakale is sometimes cultivated for its edible young shoots in the spring which are blanched by excluding light in order to make them less bitter[20][10]. Two or three crops can usually be harvested each year[10]. There are some named varieties[5]. The roots are sometimes brought into a greenhouse in the winter and grown on there in order to produce an early crop of shoots[5]. A deep-rooted and very long-lived plant[21][10], it dislikes root disturbance[14]. The seed is dispersed by seawater, on which it can float for several days without loss of viability[22].

A good bee plant[23].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Crambe maritima. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Crambe maritima.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Crambe maritima
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Salinity
  • Drought
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
Flower Colour
Flower Type

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"image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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"image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki."image:Crambe-maritima.JPG|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


  1. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
  3. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
  5. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.1 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
  9. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  10. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables Macmillan Reference Books, London. ISBN 0 333 62640 0 (1995-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Thomas. G. S. Plants for Ground Cover J. M. Dent & Sons ISBN 0-460-12609-1 (1990-00-00)
  13. ? Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)
  14. ? Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
  15. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 RHS. The Garden. Volume 111. Royal Horticultural Society (1986-00-00)
  17. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
  18. ? Chatto. B. The Dry Garden. Dent ISBN 0460045512 (1982-00-00)
  19. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
  20. ? Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
  21. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
  22. ? 22.022.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
  23. ? Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()

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Facts about "Crambe maritima"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyBrassicaceae +
Belongs to genusCrambe +
Functions asGround cover +
Has binomial nameCrambe maritima +
Has common nameSeacale +
Has drought toleranceTolerant +
Has edible partFlowers +, Leaves + and Root +
Has edible useUnknown use +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure +, High wind +, Drought + and Salinity +
Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees +, Flies + and Self +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageCrambe-maritima.JPG +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has mature height0.6 +
Has mature width0.6 +
Has primary imageCrambe-maritima.JPG +
Has salinity toleranceTolerant +
Has search namecrambe maritima + and seacale +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceNeutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameCrambe maritima +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Inhabits ecosystem nicheSoil surface +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Crambe maritima +, Crambe maritima + and Crambe maritima +