Herb: Broccoli


Latin name: Brassica oleracea italica


Family: Cruciferae



Edible parts of Broccoli:

Young flowering stems and leaves - raw or cooked. The shoots of sprouting broccoli are harvested when about 10cm long, and before the flowers open, the shoots look somewhat like a small white or purple cauliflower and have a delicious flavour. They are considered to be a gourmet vegetable. When picking the stems, make sure that you leave behind a section of the stem with leaves on it, since the plants will often produce new side shoots from the leaf axils. Calabrese and Romanesco plants produce a central inflorescence rather like a small cauliflower, which are sometimes followed by a number of smaller flowering shoots. They usually come into bearing in the late summer or autumn and are very productive if they are regularly harvested. Sprouting broccoli plants come into production in late winter to early spring and can be very heavy bearing over a period of two months or more so long as all the flowering stems are harvested before coming into flower.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Biennial


Height:
90 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Propagation of Broccoli:

Seed - sow sprouting broccoli in a seedbed outdoors in March to May. Plant out in June. Do not let the seedlings get overcrowded or they will soon become leggy and will not make such good plants. If your seedlings do get leggy, it is possible to plant them rather deeper into the soil - the buried stems will soon form roots and the plant will be better supported. Romanesco and calabrese are often sown in situ in the spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Medicinal use of Broccoli:

None known

Known hazards of Brassica oleracea italica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.