10 Different Types of Kale with Pictures

Not only are kales delicious, but they are also super popular. You must have seen the word printed on T-shirts and sweatshirts; inscriptions like “Don’t kale my vibe” have become popular. Beyonce was even spotted wearing a kale sweatshirt. In this feed we will get to know different types of kale with pictures.

What about their crunchy peppery feel? This vegetable is delicious and packs a lot of nutrients.

We all love kale, whether it’s for their delicious taste or their trendy T-shirts. If you must wear kale shirts or use kale in your meals, it is ideal you know the different types of kale. This will help you make a more informed decision when shopping for your next meal or even give you a bold idea for your next kale T-shirt idea.

varieties of kale

If you want to learn everything from growing to harvesting your kale plant, then check this article. Kale is a vegetable in the cruciferous family known for its medicinal nature and ability to aid detoxification. They are also able to reduce the risk of getting certain cancers considerably. Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are some of the other veggies in this family.

While kales are versatile and can be used in different meals, their nutritional value makes them highly popular. They are rich in vitamins C, K, and A, antioxidants, iron, indole-3-carbonyl, among others. 

Kale- Nutritional Chart

Energy (cal)42.5
Carb (g)6.3 (including 1.4 g of sugar)
Protein (g)3.5
Fiber (g)4.7
Iron (mg)1.0
Vitamin E (mg)1.9
Vitamin K (mcg)494
Vitamin A (mcg RAE)172
Vitamin C (mg)21
Folate (mcg DFE)76.7
Calcium (mg)177
Copper (mg)0.8

Health Benefits of Kale

The aforementioned vitamin and mineral levels might perplex you. So, to make things simple, here is a list of health benefits you can gain from eating kale regularly.

Eye Health

If you have poor vision, go Kale!

What we mean is, include kale in your daily diet to boost your eyesight. This vegetable contains carotenoids, which aid in good eye health. Furthermore, beta carotene also protects the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.

Low Cholesterol

Bile acid sequestrants are found in kale, which helps the body metabolize fats. So, if you include this vegetable in your regular diet, you can expect a significant reduction in total cholesterol levels in your body over time.

Reduced Cancer Risks

Kale belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family and contains sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. These compounds protect cells from mutation and damage, thus reducing cancer risks. 

Protection Against Type-2 Diabetes

Kale is also a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that protects our body from type-2 diabetes. 

10 Types of Kale

Now you know how rich this vegetable is; it’s time you know the different types of kale and their unique properties.

types of kale plants

1. Curly Kale

Curly Kale

This is one of the most popular kale varieties used to make chips and design meals in restaurants. They are rich in potassium, antioxidants and vitamin B6, fiber, vitamins K and C.

This kale has a slightly tangy feel and a peppery taste. It is the common kale you’ll find in grocery stores. As its name implies, it has curly edges. Its leaves are dark green while its stems are tough. Because of its touch stems, you may have to remove them before cooking.

Its curly edges become crispy when placed in the oven. This is how you can make your kale chips.

Fun fact: curly kale has more vitamin C than an orange.

2. Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

This is an heirloom variety that looks good in your garden and tastes even better in your meals. Its heavily wrinkled leaves are usually dark blue-green or black and create a nice contrast between your otherwise light green garden.

Lacinato kale originated from Italy, and its earliest record was in the 18th century. It is another kale chips variety but can also be roasted, steamed, or sautéed. Its health benefits include lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.

This is a cold-loving variety that loves to grow under the full sun. Its leaves sweeten after a frost, so you may have to harvest after the first frost date if you want a sweet taste.

3. Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

This pretty grey-green kale variety will do well in your whimsical garden. At 3 feet tall, this variety is larger than the typical kale plant. Its stems are purple while its oak shaped leaves are grey-green. Its large leaves are tender and delicious but become sweeter after frost.

Because of its tenderness, this kale variety is mostly used in salads or lightly cooked. They are cold hardy and are therefore best grown in spring or fall.

4. Siberian Kale

Siberian Kale

The Siberian kale is a unique type of kale species and is more similar to rutabagas and rapeseeds than other kale varieties. Like the red Russian kale, its leaves are tender and delicious, making it a great salad addition and not one to be roasted or steamed.

Siberian kale grows closer to the ground, and its leaves form a cluster. Its low growing nature makes it cold tolerant but less tolerant of heat. Siberian kale can be grown throughout the year in some regions.

5. Ornamental Kale

different types of kale

This kale is sometimes called flowering kale, but they rarely produce flowers. They are not edible and are grown for their ornamental value. You can use them as part of your front yard landscaping design.

Its leaves are colorful and ruffled like that of lettuce. They are small and can be grown in containers and placed in vantage positions like near the front door to be seen and admired by visitors. You do not want this beauty wasting in one corner of your garden.

6. Chinese Kale

Chinese Kale

Chinese kale, or Chinese broccoli as it is called in some climes, is a famous Vietnam and Thailand cooking ingredient. It can be stir-fried, steamed, or boiled like broccoli. The buds, flowers, stem, and leaves of the Chinese kale are all edible, but you should know they toughen as they age.

Unlike some of the already listed types of kale, this variety is heat tolerant and can be grown all year round. The Chinese kale can easily bolt if not harvested promptly.

7. Redbor Kale

types of kale plants

This is an edible Louisiana plant. It is a flowering kale variety and can serve as an ornamental plant. The redbor kale is a short plant with blue-green, blue-purple leaves.

This beautiful kale variety is cold-hardy and will survive in low temperatures. They can grow up to 30 inches tall and a foot wide when mature. Because of its height, it is best suited for the middle or back of your flowerbeds.

Proper spacing is required because of its size. This beautiful kale will properly adorn your garden that you’ll start having second thoughts when you want to harvest. Here’s a trick to “eat your kale and have it,” pluck the lower leaves when mature and leave the upper leaves to give you the glow.

8. Baby Kale

Baby Kale plant

This is a common kale type that you can find in grocery stores near you. It looks like the curly kale, but its leaves are more tender and thinner. Because they are tender, they are great for salads, smoothies and can be eaten raw.

Its tenderness is one of its most significant pulls. It does not need to be massaged to soften it like the curly kale.

9. Premier Kale

Premier Kale plant

Premier kale is considered the most flavorful among types of kale. It is a newer variety and is high yielding. It is grown mostly for its cold hardiness and early maturity. Its leaves are large, growing up to a foot long, and are dark green.

It has smooth leaves, and they are rich in antioxidants, and beta carotene, which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Premier kale is not as tough as other kales, so it is often eaten raw or used in salads.

10. Walking Stick Kale

Walking Stick

The walking stick kale variety is one of the most unusual kales you’ll ever find. This kale has a long, straight, sturdy stem with the top covered with green leaves. It can grow up to 6 feet tall, and its stem can be used as a cane or a walking stick after being dried and adequately laminated.

This gigantic kale requires certain conditions to grow properly; well-draining soil and temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. Its large leaves are edible and can even be used as edible food wrappers.

In Conclusion

Kale plants are delicious and nutritious. Some varieties can even serve as ornamental plants for your garden.

Armed with the knowledge of its different types, you can now buy the right type that is best suited for the meal you’re preparing. I also hope I’ve inspired some cheeky kale T-shirt inscriptions. Tell me in the comment box.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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