Crops II pp 211-225 | Cite as

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.)

  • B. W. W. Grout
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 6)


Cauliflower is one variety of the highly polymorphic species Brassica oleracea, that also includes cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts and broccoli, and is an important source of vegetable plants for man as well as animal feed. The cauliflower typically produces a large quantity of edible leaf, but this material is largely disregarded for human consumption by the western nations, and only the enlarged mass of the young, terminal inflorescence (described as the curd) is kept for eating. The branches of this developing flower-head are greatly swollen with the immature floral primordia closely packed together. Evolution of the cauliflower probably occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean (Thompson 1976; Snogerup 1980; Gustaffson 1982) and it has been reported as being under cultivation in Europe since the 15th century. It is now grown throughout the world, but limited to relatively cool regions, as inflorescence formation is poor above 25 °C. However, cultivars are being developed, notably in India and Japan, which are selected for high performance in warm climates and under short day lengths (P. Crisp, pers. commun.).


Somaclonal Variation Floral Meristem Meristem Culture Floral Primordia Cauliflower Plant 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. W. W. Grout
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesPlymouth PolytechnicPlymouthUK

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