Isles Of Scilly Wildflower Of The Week - Sea Kale

Liz Askins Isles of Scilly wildflower of the week was  Sea Kale - Crambe Maritima.

Sea kale is occasionally found on sandy and shingle beaches on all the inhabited islands and Great Ganilly. The unsettled nature of the habitat means the population fluctuates.

The botanical name, Crambe maritima, means a sort of cabbage that grows by the sea. The botanical name can be really helpful in identifying the plant and sometimes it is just a puzzle.

The story of Sea kale on the mainland is of a local delicacy that became fashionable from the late 16th century. The young shoots naturally blanch as they grow and that could be helped along by piling on seaweed or more sand or shingle as they appear. In the 19th century it was being collected by the cartload from the Isle of Man.

In the 20th century it has become less common, but this is thought to be due to management of coastal habitats and erosion rather than over harvesting.

You can find out more about Sea Kale below and listen to next week's Isles of Scilly Wildflower of the Week on Wednesday at 10:30am with Liz.