Beyond Broccoli Part Two: What’s Up with Brassicas?

Welcome back to Beyond Broccoli! Last month I posted about how the genus Brassica is classified and grouped, and where the plants come from in the world. Now let’s talk about what characteristics the brassicas have in common. Here’s some of what they share as a group:

  • An origin in temperate regions. These species originated in Europe and Asia, and most of them prefer to grow in cooler weather.
  • Thousands of years of cultivation and breeding. They’ve been part of humanity’s diet for a long time, and have great cultural significance in many regions.
  • Some physical similarities. I mentioned the cross-shaped (cruciferous) flower in the last post. Brassica seed leaves (cotyledons) have a characteristic heart shape, and seeds are generally small and round. We’ll explore leaf pigments and other commonalities in later posts.
Seed leaves of mustard
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