This is Gloire de Portugal, a variety of couve tronchuda. It's a rare old Portugese cabbage type, loose leaved as you see. It's a dual purpose vegetable; you can cook the midribs as well as the rest of the leaf. They're good in stirfries. Harry Dodson makes much of the lack of cabbage smell when cooking it in 'The Victorian Kitchen Garden', but I tend to give everything minimal cooking, and it cabbage never smells when I do it! It tried to bolt during the autumn, possibly because of the drought. I picked off the flowering stems as they appeared. As you can see, it's a large plant. The only source I know of for (generic) couve tronchuda in Britain is Thomas Etty, and they suggest planting a foot or two apart. Two and a half to three feet would be more like it. Some plants have done well despite the drought, others poorly.
2 days ago