This one is a variety called "Red Arrow". I have two plants each of Red Arrow, Rudolph (another purple variety) and White Eye (white!). You can see that the shoots or "spears" are beginning to form now, although they won't be ready for harvesting for another couple of months yet.
The plants are pretty big now -- maybe 1.25 metres?
They also take up a lot of space for a significant period of time, but I still think they represent good value because I love the end result (loads of lovely succulent, tender spears). [See my earlier blogpost on VSR]. They allow me to be picking veg in February / March, when there is little else available in the garden, which is very satisfying. I feel strangely inadequate if there is ever a time of year when there is NOTHING I can harvest, even if it is just some herbs.
Here's a thought for my 'unconventional' Australian blogging friend Hazel:- You saw the shapes of animals in your clouds. Do you know what my sprouting broccoli pictures remind me of? Spaghetti Junction (officially the Gravelly Hill interchange, in Birmingham, a complicated motorway interchange). Just follow this link and you'll see what I mean...