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Jan 4, 2009 09:30 AM

Salt-like barnacle-ish grainy bits on cabbage leaves?

I came across these things clinging to several inner (not outer) leaves of a head of green cabbage. They look like large grains of salt -- rather than, say, grains of dirt -- but do not easily rinse off. I need to pick at them with my nails to get them off. It's as the cabbage grew tiny barnacles, or boils. Yikes. Could someone identify this stuff, its cause, and its safety?

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  1. It's probably scale, which is an insect pest common to all plants. Won't hurt you, but the bleech factor may get in the way of enjoying the cabbage. I've never seen them on inside leaves of cabbage.

    2 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks

      Thank you! This sounds like the right diagnosis. I've now looked up many images of scale -- a whole world of blistery, clingy matter -- and you're totally right that the 'blechh' factor may outpace my love of cabbage this time....

      For any others interested: the only scale pest specific to cabbage I could readily find online was the 'cabbage whitefly':

      1. re: sequins

        Whitefly is a growing and spreading pest of many crops. It is most problematic in being a disease vector rather than directly damaging crops and crop plants.