I know the words "Blattkohl" and "Grünkohl", but I don't know how to associate with these English words for plants. I know "kale", "collards", and "cabbage" but I don't how they translate to German. Especially confused about kale vs. collard greens.

  • 6
    Did you try the corresponding Wikipedia articles and their foreign-language links?
    – Jan
    Dec 7, 2016 at 1:12
  • @Jan: The OP appears to have learned the "raw" words in both English and German and is confused about how to combine them.
    – Tom Au
    Dec 7, 2016 at 2:03
  • @TomAu Jan Yes. When you go wikipedia it seems like collars greens are a family of cabbages, but you usually associate a specific plant with collards
    – hgiesel
    Dec 7, 2016 at 2:07
  • I think I've answered your question. At least I hope I did.
    – Tom Au
    Dec 7, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    @TomAu Since Wikipedia articles typically cover one topic at a time, it is often helpful to look up one technical term and see what the article name of the foreign language is. By that method, I finally noticed that I had mapped rabbit and hare incorrectly to the German counterparts Karnickel and Hase.
    – Jan
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


"Kohl" (Brassica) is a plant species with further subspecies like "Gemüsekohl" (Brassica oleracea) and Rübsen (Brassica rapa). The subspecies themself include different types of plants.

Types of "Gemüsekohl" are (I selected all types that are common on German menus):

  • Blumenkohl = cauliflower

  • Romanesco = romanesco

  • Weißkohl = (white) cabbage, green cabbage

  • Spitzkohl = pointed cabbage

  • Rotkohl = red cabbage

  • Wirsing = savoy (cabbage)

  • Rosenkohl = brussels sprouts

  • Kohlrabi = kohlrabi, turnip cabbage

  • Broccoli = broccoli

  • Grünkohl = kale or leaf cabagge

Blattkohl/Staudenkohl (= collards) is also a type of Gemüsekohl, but as far as I know and according to wikipedia, it is not cultivated in Germany.

Types of "Rübsen" are (I selected all types that are common on German menus):

  • Herbstrübe (Mairübe) = no english name
  • Chinakohl = napa cabbage

In the south of Germany people often say "Kraut" instead of "Kohl", e.g., Rotkraut or Blaukraut (= both means red cabbage), Kraut (= white cabbage)


"Cabbage" is just "Kohl" in German. Absent other context, it can also be referred to as "Weißkohl" (white cabbage). Here are some other variations formed by compound words:

Cauliflower, Blumenkohl (literally flower cabbage).

Brussels sprouts, Rosenkohl (literally rose cabbage).

Collard greens, Blattkohl (literally leaf cabbage).

Kale, Grünkohl (literally green cabbage).

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    Maybe it should be noted here that "Kohl" is not commonly used as a general term for the compound words. At least, when someone tells me "Heute esse ich Kohl.", I would rather not consider the possibility that they are going to have Blumenkohl or Rosenkohl. Dec 7, 2016 at 8:02
  • @O.R.Mapper: Kohl is a "standalone" word for cabbage. Only when it is compounded with the others does it vary.
    – Tom Au
    Dec 7, 2016 at 8:04
  • If you look up Cabbage on Wiki and switch to the German site, you find Weißkohl. Some dictionaries list this translation, too. Other refer to Kopfkohl. The corresponding English site to Kohl, as a standalone term, is Brassica, which seems to be the technical term.
    – Em1
    Dec 7, 2016 at 8:32
  • 1
    And most cabbage types are formed with -kraut in the South: Grünkraut, Blaukraut, …
    – Jan
    Dec 7, 2016 at 13:33
  • @TomAu Kohl defaults to Weißkohl, if it is not specified or discernable from the context. Cabbage behaves similarly in English, however.
    – Chieron
    Dec 8, 2016 at 13:27

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