Friday 10 August 2012


If you define a botanical vegetable as an edible part of a plant that clearly excludes seed-bearing fruits, then there are a number of possible contenders for this coveted record. Remember that pumpkins and squash must be disqualified because they are seed-bearing fruits.

Some of the top contenders for this record are the blades of large brown algae called kelp, and the tender leaves of the horseradish tree Moringa oleifera (not to be confused with the true horseradish of the mustard family Armoracia lapathifolia).

Perhaps a more logical contender for this record are the massive subterranean yams of the genus Dioscorea, some of which may weigh over 120 pounds (54 kg). These yams are not to be confused with fleshy storage roots of red sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) of the Morning Glory Family which are also called yams.

The 2011 Guinness Book Of World Records (UK Edition) lists some of the record-breaking vegetables, including:

85 pound swede
     The heaviest swede weighs 38.92 kg (85 lb 12 oz) and was grown by Ian Neale (UK). It was weighed at the National Gardening Show at the Royal Bath & West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, on 4 September 2011.

      27 pound cucumber
     Alfred J. Cobb (UK) grew a cucumber weighing 12.4 kg (27 lb 5.3 oz) and presented it at the National Amateur Gardening Show's UK National Giant Vegetables Championship at Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK on 5 September 2003.

39 pound turnip
     The heaviest turnip weighed 17.7 kg (39 lb 3 oz) and was grown by Scott and Mardie  Robb (both USA) who presented it the Alaska State Fair, Palmer, USA on 1 September 2004.

42 pound red cabbage
      The heaviest red cabbage weighed 19.05 kg (42 lb) and was grown by R. Straw of Staveley, Derbyshire, UK in 1925.

35 pound broccoli
      A broccoli grown by John and Mary Evans of Palmer, Alaska, USA in 1993 weighed 15.87 kg (35 lb).

54 pound cauliflower
      A 127 pound (57 kg) cabbage, six feet (1.8 m) in diameter. The heaviest cabbage weighed 57.61 kg (127 lb) and was presented at the Alaska State Fair by Steven Hubacek (USA) of Wasilla, Alaska, USA, on 4 September 2009.

Nicknamed "The Beast" by Mr. Hubacek, the cabbage outweighed its closest competitor by 17.46 kg (38.5 lb) and broke the 57.11 kg (125.9 lb) record set 2 days before by another cabbage also grown by Mr. Hubacek. 

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