Broccoli (from the Italian pl. of broccoli, referring to "the flowering top of a cabbage")is a plant of the cabbage family Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae).

It is classified as a cultivator group of the species Brassica oleracea. Broccoli possesses abundant arboreal, flower heads, usually green in color, arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible, sturdy, stalk. The mass of flower heads is surrounded by lavish leaves. Broccoli most closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivator group of the same species, but broccoli is green while cauliflower can appear in purple and yellow in addition to the traditional white variety.

History of Broccoli

In Europe broccoli developed from a wild cabbage plant. Indications show that the vegetable was known in Europe 2,000 years ago. Since the Roman Empire, broccoli has been considered a uniquely valuable food among Italians. Broccoli was first introduced to the United States by these immigrants, but had not become widely known until the 1920s.The first mention of the vegetable in the US was in 1806, when it was given the name green broccoli.


Brassica oleracea
Cultivar Group
Italica Group
From Italy 2,000 years ago

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