BROCCOLI

CALABRESE BROCCOLI

Brassica oleracea ssp. italica

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]

month8oct month8nov month8dec

category
category8Crops
flower
flower8yellow
status
statusZalien
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Un-harvested. Broccoli is not supposed to be left in the field until it flowers, the vegetable should be harvested and consumed when the flowers are still in bud. It may not have been ready for harvest when the Autumn rains came.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Just a few are still OK for harvesting.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The stalk and flower buds are eaten, either way, or better, cooked. The leaves are not usually eaten, but are still edible. Already this specimen is a little too advanced to be at its best for shop display.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
It has a tree-like form. When flowering the flowers are pale yellow. Leaves roundly-lobed whitish-green and cabbage-like.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flower buds too advanced for selling, they are just ready for opening. Rain-drops lie heavy on the slightly waxy water-proof flower buds.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in cylindrical spikes on thin stalks. There are numerous flower spikes per plant.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The stems are pale green. Lower flower buds open first and have turned to seed pods by the time the topmost flowers open.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Seed pods very thin, at first (lower half of spike)


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have four long pale-yellow petals similar to those of Wild Cabbage. Four long and narrow sepals.


23rd Nov 2013, arable field, Tarlescough Hall, Burscough, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves whitish-green a bit cabbage-like.


Related to : Romanesco Broccoli (Brassica oleracea ssp. botrytis) [yet another Cabbage cultivar belonging to the Botrytis Group and more related to Cauliflower than to Broccoli, but both are cultivars of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)].

This is a cultivated vegetable, a variety of Cabbage (Brassica oleracea); it is not a wild flower. Broccoli was first cultivated from Cabbage in Italy, hence it is in the Italica Group of Cabbage and is called Brassica oleraceae ssp. italica. See Wild Cabbage for further cultivated varieties.

Although it is never sold in greengrocers with the flowers open, even in this late stage they are still edible, although the flowers themselves will fall apart if boiled with the stems of the vegetable. Instead, the open flowers can be added raw to salads, they taste much like the vegetable. A

INDOLES

Skatole (aka 3-IndolylMethane or 3-MethylIndole) is produced in the mammalian digestive system and smells strongly of faeces. It is used by the military as a malodorant in non-lethal weapons. Orchid bees have a strong attraction to the aroma of Skatole (which they harvest to synthesize other pheromones) and it is used as a bait to collect bees for study. In lower concentrations, Skatole has a floral odour and is used in perfumes. Although it does not occur in Broccoli Skatole does occur in low concentrations in some plants, such as in Orange blossoms and Jasmine where it contributes to their floral aroma.



3-MethylIndole is a constituent of many plants in the Cabbage Family (Brassicaceae) such as Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard Greens and Kale, which are all cultivated varieties of Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea).

3,3'-DiIndolylMethane is the (near) dimer of Skatole shown above. It does not, so far as known, occur in these plants itself. It is produced in mammalian stomach when they metabolise the Indole-3-Carbinol (shown alongside) which is contained within Cabbage-type vegetables and has health benefits. It is currently used medicinally in the treatment of a rare respiratory disease. It may also have some use in cancer treatment.

It also contains much the same Glucosinolates as does Wild Cabbage, such as Glucoraphanin (which is converted to the thiocyanate Sulforaphane by enzymes contained within the plants cells when they are damaged), but in differing proportions.


  Brassica oleracea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Brassicaceae  

Distribution
 family8Cabbage family8Brassicaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Brassica
Brassica
(Cabbages)

BROCCOLI

CALABRESE BROCCOLI

Brassica oleracea ssp. italica

Cabbage Family [Brassicaceae]