Texsel Greens are a form of Ethiopian Cabbage, Brassica carinata. Native to the Middle East and East Africa, particularly Ethiopia, the University of Texas developed a variety as a new, commercially viable vegetable which was christened Texsel greens.
It can be found with the spelling Texsel, Texcel or Texel and is sometimes referred to as Garlic Kale, Ethiopian Cabbage or Abyssinian mustard.
Texsel Greens is an unusual vegetable that provides an incredibly tender, smooth-textured salads and sauté greens. Fast growing, it has become a popular choice for use as a cut and come again salad crop. The small delicious leaves have an excellent flavour, a mild combination of spinach and cabbage.
Texsel Greens are adaptable and tolerant of a range of climatic conditions but are especially good for temperate climates as they are fast growing even at relatively low temperatures. They prefer relatively cool temperatures in the range 15 to 20ºC (60 to 70ºF). The plants have dark green, oval leaves with slightly irregular edges average 10 to 18cm (4 to 7in) long. Mature plants grow 60 to 90cm tall and don't produce many leaves. If cut under 30cm (12in) tall, the leaves can be used raw in salads Otherwise the plants can be left to grow and cooked like cabbage. Immature flower stems can be cooked like broccoli and seeds can be harvested and used as a condiment.
Sowing: Sow successionally spring to autumn
Sow at fortnightly intervals from spring to early summer. Very early outdoor sowings need protection from frost.
Fill pots or trays with regular multipurpose compost; moisten by standing the container in water, then drain. Sow seeds by sprinkling quite finely onto the surface. Press gently into the compost or cover with just a sprinkling of compost.
Cover the container with clear glass or plastic sheet. Once germinated, remove the glass. (If the nights are still cold, put the glass back on in the evening). Water daily, lightly at first, then thoroughly with a watering can once grown.
If grown for immature leaves they can be cut within 5 to 7 weeks, space at 25cm (10in) between rows, 2.5cm (1in) within the row. If growing to maturity space the plants 50 x 50cm (20in x 20in).
The plants are hardy and so can be grown in the winter under cover but are equally good sown in early spring and again in late summer, so as to avoid the warmest weather.
In early spring sow seeds in a cool greenhouse or polytunnel and either transplant to beds under protected cropping conditions or plant out into the open in favourable climatic conditions.
In late spring the seeds can be sown direct or into nursery beds and transplanted after about 40 days to well-prepared raised beds or ridges at a spacing of 50 x 50cm.
Grow in freely draining loam soils and top dress with nitrogen during growth on soils of only moderate fertility. Irrigate during dry periods.
Simply keep weed free and water regularly throughout the season.
Harvest baby leaves are required using scissors. If grown on, the outer leaves can be harvested and plants can be left to grow on. The plants mature in 60 to 90 days. If grown to maturity the whole plant can be cropped before seed are formed.
In late summer, leave some plants to flower and produce seeds for next year. Dried and stored in cool conditions the seed will remain viable for three to four years. The seeds can also be crushed and used as a condiment.
Authorities believe that Brassica carinata is a naturally occurring hybrid of possibly black mustard (Brassica nigra) and cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) from the Middle East and East Africa, especially Ethiopia.
In the United States the University of Texas developed a variety of this species as a new, commercially viable vegetable which was christened Texsel greens (with accepted variations in the spelling) in recognition of that work.
It was introduced to northern Florida in North America in 1957 by which time it had already gained some familiarity in Europe.
Texsel is the only named cultivar of Brassica carinata.
Native to the Middle East and East Africa, particularly Ethiopia. Brassica carinata has the synonyms of Brassica integrifolia, Brassica integrifolia var. carinata, Sinapis integrifolia.
It can be found with the spelling Texsel, Texcel, Teksel or Texel and sometimes referred to as Ethiopian Cabbage or Abyssinian mustard.
It is also known as Abessinischer Senf (German), Abyssinian cabbage, Abyssinian mustard, Ethiopian mustard, Ethiopian rapeseed, Gomenzer (Ethiopian), Mustard collard, or Mustard seed.
The species name carinata is derived from Latin carini meaning ‘keeled (like a boat) or 'ridged’.
In Ethiopia Brassica carinata is eaten as an alternative to meat during the fast of Ramadan. In addition to being used as a vegetable, a powder is made from the seeds to use as a sort of oil to apply to pans used for baking Enjera; the Ethiopian pan cake which is made of Eragrostis.
It is this cabbage, celebrated in Ethiopian poetry, that the ancient Egyptians are shown carrying in beds as a token of the ithyphallic deity Min during the god's feast days. A profusely growing cabbage for the most fertile of deities. Hence the phonetic relationship between 'go-men' and 'Min (Men)'.
First trialled by the Game Conservancy in 1985 in the UK, Texsel Greens is also used as a game cover. It appears in game cover mixes along with Kale and Buckwheat.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 370 Seeds Common Name Ethiopian Cabbage Other Common Names Texcel Greens or Abyssinian Mustard. Family Brassicaceae Genus Brassica Species carinata Synonym Texsel, Texcel or Texel Greens Hardiness Hardy Perennial Flowers white/green Natural Flower Time Summer Foliage Green Height 15cm (6in) Time to Sow Sow successionally. Germination 7 to 10 days Harvest Harvest using scissors once the plants have become well developed Time to Harvest Cut and Come again.