Collard Greens (Brassica oleracea) were designated as the Official Vegetable of South Carolina in 2011.
The Ayden Collard Festival was designated as the Official Collard Festival of North Carolina in 2007.
Collards are the oldest known greens in the cabbage family dating back to ancient times. Ancient Greeks and Romans cultivated collard greens.
Collards are native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Asia Minor. In approximately 400 B.C. they were brought to Britain and France by either the Romans or Celts. The first documentation of collard greens in America was in 1669 though it is possible they were present in the colonies at an even earlier date.
Collard greens grow best in warm weather though they can withstand the cold temperatures of late autumn. Interestingly enough, the flavor of collard greens is enhanced by a light frost.
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