Commercially introduced by us in the U.S.
Karadeniz collard greens is a seed near and dear to my heart. A staple collard variety of Turkey’s Karadeniz (Black Sea) region, this plant connects me to the place I grew up in the region and my father. You can read about this connection in my article titled Grief and growing: An immigrant seed keeper’s story of cultivating connection, published in Crop Stories’ Collards edition.
Karadeniz collard is a vigorous, prolific producer of beautiful, large leaves. Some plants produce white leaf veins while others have a pink/purple tint.
This plant is known for its outstanding flavor and traditionally used for stuffing and in soups in Turkey’s Black Sea region. “…The soup has barbunya bean (like the pinto), korkota (hominy corn), sweet red pepper, bulb onions, tomato paste, and chopped collard greens. Individual collard leaves are filled with ground veal or beef; a combination of hominy corn and bulgur or rice; cooked in bone broth and butter; and served with yogurt on top. Beans, corn, peppers and tomatoes were only introduced to Turkey a few hundred years ago through settler colonialism and trade, but the regional cuisine of the Black Sea region, like in other places with old food traditions, quickly adapted to these new ingredients…”
Collards can survive light frost but would not make it through temperatures lower than 10-15F. That being said, we successfully harvested seeds from our small crop of Karadeniz collard overwintered in our high tunnel in 2022-2023 winter (hardiness zone 6) with frost cover on the plants throughout winter when temperatures in December hit as low as -5F some nights.