Brassica rapa var purpurea
This flowering purple stem choy sum, also known as kosaitai or hon tsai tai, is a popular Chinese specialty vegetable. The leaf stalks and veins are purple while the leaves are dark green and the flowers are yellow. Low temperatures intensify the colors. Best grown as a fall/winter crop—the plants will bolt early when sown in spring to summer. Kosaitai can be cut young and will re-grow for additional harvests.
- Warm season annual
- Approx. 1400-1500 seeds in packet. (A seed will vary in weight and size within a given seed lot. The number of seeds stated is only an estimate.)
- 164,000 seed count per pound.
- Maturity: Approx. 50 days
- Planting season: Late summer to early fall
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Cultivation: Prefers cool temperatures. Prepare fertile, well-drained soil. Sow seeds in late summer/early fall. Keep soil moist. Fertilize as needed. Harvest main stalk when it reaches 10-14" tall and just before flowering occurs. After this cut, the plant branches freely for an extended harvest.
Please note: Maturity, adaptability and disease tolerance may differ under your specific climate and/or growing conditions.
Culinary tips: The young flowering shoots add a mild mustard flavor to fresh salads. Cook by lightly steaming, boiling or stir-frying.