Morris Improved Heading 133055

Uniform with the exception of one plant that has more crinkled leaves and a more dentate margin. It also has some pigmentation on the petioles. Leaves are green with a slightly wavy outline and wavy margin. Leaves also have moderate blistering and curve slightly upward. Plants are semiprostrate and develop well-formed heads. Plants measure 13.5-18 inches tall and 36-48 inches wide. Average taste qualities.

History: Acquired by Seed Savers Exchange in 2016 from the USDA collection (PI 662842). This variety was collected on behalf of the USDA by Dr. John Morgan (professor of geography at Emory & Henry College) in 2006 from Eric Morris of Maxton, North Carolina. This was developed in the 20s by his great-grandfather Elisha Morris and his grandfather Fairley Morris. Elisha died in 1933 and Fairley devoted the 1930s to selling and promoting the new collard. NCSU selected it for its “recommended” list in the early 1950s and sales of the seed expanded greatly. Seed companies purchased seed from the Morris family for several years but then started growing and saving their own Morris collards. This particular seed may be different from seeds collected for decades by farmers or seed companies, because Eric’s father, Lawrence Morris, “tweaked” their collard a little in the late 1980s to produce a plant with less of a heading habit. That action was taken in response to comments by customers that Morris collards were developing too much of a head. Therefore it is possible that collectors have saved seeds and preserved a variety with more of a head than is being produced now by the Morris family.

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