Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Brassica oleracea Acephala Group [ornamental cabbage]

Family Name: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Common Name: Ornamental Cabbage, Flowering Cabbage, 卷心菜
Semi Shade Moderate Water Ornamental Leaves Annual Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Infraspecific Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded


Native Distribution Western Europe
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Temperate
Local Conservation Status Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A biennial which is usually grown as annual, does not not form dense heads like cabbage. 
Foliage Leaves are fringed or have wavy margin. 
Flowers Cabbage produces flowers following prolonged exposure to cold. The yellow, 4-petalled flowers are arranged along a spike-like inflorescence known as a raceme.
Fruits The fruit is a dry, dehiscent pod known as a silique.
Cultivation Cabbage is a cool season crop, so it is not well-adapted to Singapore's climate and does not grow well when temperatures are consistently above 27 degrees Celsius. However, it is locally available in some nurseries that import plants from cooler climates. Cabbage is best grown under full sun in temperate countries, but needs semi-shade and protection from hot afternoon sun in Singapore. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil, apply mulch around the plant, keep the soil moist and practice crop rotation.
Etymology The genus Brassica is Pliny's name for cabbage-like plants. The specific epithet oleracea refers to cultivation of aromatic / esculent / vegetables. The var. capitata means growing in a head, or head-like. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)

Landscaping Features

Landscaping These cabbages are good as edibles as well as for ornamental on a flowerbed. They are suitable for container planting due to their interesting colour features.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Flowerbed / Border, Container Planting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed
Seed or Spore Germination Duration From 3
Seed or Spore Germination Duration To 5
Seed or Spore Germination Duration Unit Days


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Pink, Purple, Red
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Crinkled / Twisted
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Pink, Purple, Red
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire - Wavy / Undulate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Cruciform / Cross-shaped
Inflorescence Type Raceme

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 30579
Species ID 4888
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 29 August 2021.