I've grown out Daubenton perennial kale several times and it *can* overwinter in Ottawa though I wouldn't guarantee that. It is borderline at best. I've overwintered it without protection in the city limits and with a rose cone in the country. In 2014 and 2015, I grew out seeds of Daubenton and some crosses. Now, I know what you are thinking. Daubenton doesn't produce seeds!
Daubenton kale is a perennial but is said to rarely flower. However, it does on occasion produce flower buds and from those seeds. It is Brassica oleracea so any member of that species in flower could potentially cross with it. I was lucky enough to be gifted seeds including crosses several years back. I started a selection in 2014.
Read more about the babies and the 1st year survivors.
The second year plants grew but only those with obvious 'red kale' genetics flowered for me. Promisingly they went on to produce good foliar growth during and afterwards though without the abundant side shots of Daubenton. The stem also bent down with a tuff of leaves at the top. They remind me of walking stick kale that is occasionally described as perennial in the right climate. The more true to Daubenton type are quite wide and bush like attaining similar height to those from 2015 seed. There was very little pest or foliar disease issues. I'll be interested to see how they overwinter.
2015 seed grown plants had excellent growth with green and red cross Daubenton types being the fullest. There was variation in the number of side shoots produced. Lacinato crosses were nice especially in flavour though I fear they will not be hardy.
Some of the seedlings showed puckering from the beginning and these are the ones that demonstrated heavier, decorative veining.
Daubenton (and other Brassica oleracea in my experience) are easy to propagate from cuttings hence the benefit of lots of side shoots. I've even propagated them from root cuttings as per seakale.
I'll be trimming them back rather heavily (kale chips? kale salad? everyone!) then covering them with rose cones for the winter. The survivors will hopefully seed to produce more seed to play with!
All about growing, selecting and using edible plants in the Ottawa valley.