Monday, 10 September 2012

WHAT IS A BROCCOFLOWER?



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There are two forms of Brassica oleracea that may be referred to as broccoflower, both of which are considered cultivars of cauliflower, Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. The edible portion is the immature flower head (inflorescence) of the plant.

Broccoflower refers to either of two edible plants of the species Brassica oleracea with light green heads. One is shaped like regular cauliflower, the other has a spiky appearance. They share a curd color that is a similar hue to that of broccoli.

The first form of broccoflower has the physical attributes of a white cauliflower, but the curd colour is lime-green. There are several cultivars of green cauliflower on the market, with the first release being 'Green Ball' with parentage of both broccoli and cauliflower. The California firm, Tanimura & Antle, trademarked the word "Broccoflower" for the green cauliflower they market.

The second form is Romanesco broccoli, which is characterised by the striking and unusual fractal patterns of its flower head. It has a yellow or vibrant green curd colour.

Broccoli and cauliflower are closely related and fully cross compatible. The cross is easily made by hand pollination or natural pollinators.  Some crosses within and between these types require embryo culture after the initial cross. A full range of intermediate types can be produced in later generations of such a cross, of which green-curded cauliflower is one.

Broccoflowers are generally considered to have a milder and slightly sweeter flavour than their close cabbage-family relatives. Like other members of Brassica oleracea, broccoflower is highly nutritious.

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