A Visual Guide to Leafy Greens

Posted by Boston Organics on Nov 10, 2020 12:14:00 PM

With so many varieties of organic leafy greens coming from our local farmers each week, it can be challenging to figure out which is which. After all, they are all green and leafy!

At a glance many greens may appear quite similar; in reality they're each unique. To help you celebrate these special greens in all their delicious, nutritious glory, we've put together this quick visual guide to help you identify the common greens in your produce box.

Quick Leafy Green Terminology:

  • Spine: the large stem that runs through the center of the greens
  • Rib: small stems that come off of the spines and run through the leaves
  • Many recipes call for the greens to be "stemmed". This means to remove the thick spine, in general the ribs are more tender and can be readily eaten. The easiest way to do this is to fold the leaf in half along the spine and use a sharp knife to remove the spine. In the case of chard the stems can be cut into 1-2" lengths and cooked in boiling salted water and then added to the preparation for the leaves.


Curly Kale
Light green spines and ribs with rough, curly leaves.
Curly Kale
Red or Russian Red Kale
Purple spines and ribs with flat, green leaves that protrude like fingers.
Red Kale
Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale
Off-white spines and ribs with slender, bumpy leaves.
Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale

Click here for kale storage tips and recipes!

Collard Greens

Light green spines and ribs with large, broad leaves.
Collard Greens

Click here for collard greens storage tips and recipes!


Green Chard
Light green spines with small tender ribs and large paddle-shaped leaves.
Green Chard
Red Chard
Red spines and tender red ribs with dark green paddle-shaped leaves.
Red Chard
Rainbow Chard
Multicolored spines and ribs with dark green paddle-shaped leaves.
Rainbow Chard



Click here for chard storage tips and recipes!


Long, slender spines with quill-like leaves, usually packed in small bunches.
Bunched Arugula

Click here for arugula storage tips and recipes!

We hope this guide will help you differentiate between the many greens that we get from our farm partners throughout the year.

Don't forget - if you're ever stumped, you can always snap a picture and send it to our leafy green experts at service@bostonorganics.com, and we'll help you out!

Download the Complete Guide to Leafy Greens

Topics: Recipes, Beneath The Peel / Digging Deeper, Home Cooking Kitchen Tips, Organic Grocery Delivery Boston, Organic Leafy Greens, Guides and Infographics

Get fresh, organic fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorstep.

Sign Up for Organic Produce Delivery

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all