Collard is a group of certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables including cabbage (Capitata group) and broccoli (Italica group). Collard is a member of the Viridis group of Brassica oleracea. American collard cultivars are more correctly placed in the Viridis cultivar group due to a high genetic similarity with cabbage, although older publications often include them within the Acephala group (kale). The name "collard" comes from the word "colewort" (a medieval term for non-heading brassica crops).
|Cultivar group||Acephala Group|
|Cultivar group members||Many; see text.|
The plants are grown as a food crop for their large, dark-green, edible leaves, which are cooked and eaten as vegetables, mainly in Zambia, Kashmir, Brazil, Portugal, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the American South, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, the Balkans, and northern Spain. Collard greens have been eaten for at least 2,000 years, with evidence showing that the ancient Greeks cultivated several types of the plant.