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Romanesci broccoli Brassica oleracea (Botrytis Group)

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
BRAS-ih-ka ol-ur-RAY-see-uh
Description

The Botrytis Group of Brassica oleracea is most commonly called cauliflower.  The genus name Brassica is Latin for cabbage.  It is a cool-season vegetable that does not tolerate heat well, therefore, it is typically grown in the spring or fall.  Sow seed in late spring for a summer harvest, then again in late summer for fall harvesting.  It is grown for the edible stem, buds, and flowers. The unshowy flowers have a spicy flavor. 

For best-growing results, keep the soil moist and plant in a loam-based soil that is rich in nitrogen.  The use of compost is ideal for soil enrichment.  Mulching around the plants will help protect the surface roots and retain moisture.  

It is not a frost-tolerant plant.  It should not be sown if there is any possibility of frost.  

Plants are ready for harvesting when the heads are 6-8" across, firm and tight. 

Cauliflower is now available in a variety of colors.

In the form of compact heads, these are a popular vegetable that can be served raw or boiled.  Often they are accompanied by a white sauce.

They are also used in pickle production.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:   Insects that may affect its growth are cabbage worms, slugs, aphids, and caterpillars.  Watch out for leaf spot and black rot.  

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

 

More information on Brassica oleracea.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cendis'
    Triangular, shallowly scalloped, grey-green leaves. Short, sturdy stalks with densly packed heads of white florets.
  • 'Cheddar'
    A patented hybrid variety. More beta-carotene than regular cauliflower. Color stays true when cooked.
  • 'Graffiti'
    Purple headed variety, best sown in late winter/early spring.
  • 'Purple of Sicily'
    Large heads are brilliant purple in the garden or on the fresh veggie platter, changing to a striking green when cooked.
  • 'Violet Queen'
    Rich purple heads that can be eaten raw or cooked.
'Cendis', 'Cheddar', 'Graffiti', 'Purple of Sicily', 'Violet Queen'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#annual#edible plant#vegetable#cool season vegetable#bee friendly#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cendis'
    Triangular, shallowly scalloped, grey-green leaves. Short, sturdy stalks with densly packed heads of white florets.
  • 'Cheddar'
    A patented hybrid variety. More beta-carotene than regular cauliflower. Color stays true when cooked.
  • 'Graffiti'
    Purple headed variety, best sown in late winter/early spring.
  • 'Purple of Sicily'
    Large heads are brilliant purple in the garden or on the fresh veggie platter, changing to a striking green when cooked.
  • 'Violet Queen'
    Rich purple heads that can be eaten raw or cooked.
'Cendis', 'Cheddar', 'Graffiti', 'Purple of Sicily', 'Violet Queen'
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#annual#edible plant#vegetable#cool season vegetable#bee friendly#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Brassica
    Species:
    oleracea
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Western Europe
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Edibility:
    The stem, flower buds and flowers can be eaten
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits dry and split when ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Edible leaf
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Problems:
    Problem for Horses