Brassica oleracea (Botrytis Group)
'Romanesco broccoli' is a plant in the Brassica (Mustard) genus with a scientific name of Brassica oleracea (Botrytis Group). The botanical name epithet for Romanesco broccoli (oleracea) means 'eaten as a vegetable'.
2 This has to be one of the most beautiful vegetables around – a true ‘Objet d’Art’. Each complex, symmetrical head features whorls of pointy, chartreuse green ‘florets’, in a complex, bewitching design, an amazing example of phyllotaxis – the fractal patterning that can appear in nature.
2 Romanesco is delicious with a flavour is somewhere between broccoli and cauliflower, with a sweet nuttiness that is bereft of the slightly bitter edge cauliflower can have, children tend to like it for this very reason. If you cook it whole, dunking it in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, it’s one of the most impressive greens you can serve.
Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
2 Nutrition: Cauliflower is a variety of the common cabbage in which flowers have begun to form, but have stopped growing at the bud stage. The same applies to broccoli. The thick stems under the buds act as storage organs for nutrients, which would have gone into the flowers and eventual fruits had their development not been aborted. All these types are therefore richer in vitamins and minerals than other brassicas.It is an edible vegetable that typically grows as a biennial, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of two years. Romanesco broccoli is known for its erect habit and growing to a height of approximately 50.0 cm (1.62 feet). This plant tends to be ready for harvesting by mid autumn.
Italy is believed to be where Romanesco broccoli originates from.
Romanesco broccoli is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Romanesco broccoli have been kindly provided by our members.
Broccoli grows best and produces highest yields when temperatures do not exceed 25°C and is not seriously damaged by temperatures down to -2°C. High summer temperatures reduce growth, decrease quality, and cause loose heads to form, which taste bitter.
Water: Water broccoli deeply and infrequently while trying to maintain even soil moisture. About 1-2 inches of water are required per week. Use drip irrigation if possible to conserve water. Applying mulch around the plant also helps conserve soil moisture and reduce weed growth.
2 Sow anytime of year:
Jan-Feb under glass. March-May outdoors and Sept-Oct in coldframes to over winter.
Sow 4-6 weeks before the date you wish to plant them outdoors.
Nearly all brassicas should be planted in a seedbed or in modules under glass and then transferred. Seeds should be sown thinly, as this reduces the amount of future thinning necessary and potential risk from pests.
Sow seeds 12mm (½in) deep and rows should be spaced 15cm (6in) apart. Once the seeds have germinated, thin the seedlings to 7.5cm (3in) between each plant.
2 Prepare the site:
All brassica crops grow best in partial-shade, in firm, fertile, free-draining soil. Start digging over your soil in autumn, remove any stones you find and work in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. Tread on the soil to remove any air pockets and make the surface very firm. Brassicas will fail if the soil is too acidic so add lime to the soil if necessary, aiming for a pH of 6.5-7.5.
2 Cauliflower prefers deep, humus-rich soil with a good supply of water and high humidity. Prepare your soil by working into it organic matter such as compost, bark, wood ashes, and manure. Barnyard manures should be aged before adding to the garden. Rabbit and chicken manures are good ones to use. Cow manure is good but just don’t overdo it, as the manure may cause a build up of salt in the soil. If your soil is acidic, it should be sweetened up by adding lime.
The meat of the cauliflower heads are called curds. The curds may “yellow” if they receive too much sun, rain, or frost. Secure the plants’ long leaves over the cauliflower heads to insure beautiful white heads.
Cauliflower needs rich soil and adequate moisture for peak production. Feed them with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer every two or three weeks until the point of production. Then feed them with a good water-soluble fertilizer. Keep the soil moist. Replace mulch as it deteriorates and pull weeds away from the plants.
Fertilization: Apply 1 cup per 10 feet of row of a nitrogen-based fertilizer (21-0-0 or 34-0-0) 4 weeks after transplanting or thinning to encourage vigorous plant growth. Apply an additional ¼ cup of nitrogen fertilizer when the broccoli head is the size of a quarter. After harvesting the main head, apply additional nitrogen fertilizer to encourage side shoot development. Place the fertilizer 6 inches to the side of the plant and irrigate it into the soil.
Mulches and Row Covers: Plastic mulches help conserve water, reduce weed growth and allow earlier planting and maturity, especially with transplants. Hot caps and fabric covers are used to protect seedlings and transplants from frosts. Fabric covers also protect young plants from insect pests. Apply organic mulches when temperatures rise. These will cool the soil and reduce water stress. Organic mulches such as grass clippings, straw, and shredded newspaper also help control weeds.
Broccoli can be grown from seed or transplants.
Seeds should be planted ¼-¾ inch deep and thinned to the final stand when plants have 3-4 true leaves. Plants removed at thinning can be transplanted to adjacent areas.
Broccoli grown for transplants should be sown 5-6 weeks before the expected planting date. Transplants are used to provide earlier harvest. Transplants should have 4-6 mature leaves and a well developed root system before planting out.
Larger, more mature transplants are prone to form small, early heads (buttoning) which flower prematurely.
2 The seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are between 6 and 8cm high (2½ to 3in). Water the day before moving, and keep well-watered until established. Space the plants 45cm (18in) apart in rows 60 to 90cm (24 to 36in) apart.
Plant only as deeply as the transplants are as they are removed from their containers. If you overcrowd cauliflower, they may not be able to reach their full potential. Provide two or three plants for each family member. As you plant, put about a cup of root stimulator mixture into each hole along with a teaspoon of bonemeal to get the plants off to a robust start with strong roots and stems. Mulch each plant to prevent soil erosion and to add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.
By our calculations*, you should look at planting out Romanesco broccoli about 14 days before your last frost date.
Harvest when the flower shoots are firm and well-formed. Cut close to ground level with a sharp knife. Cauliflower can be stored by freezing. Separate the flowerettes, wash them well, and put them into boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove them from the boiling water, then put them into ice water for a few minutes. Drain them well and put them into freezer containers and into the freezer.
These plants have been known to grow well alongside Romanesco broccoli so consider planting:
2 Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Onions, Garlic, Beetroot, Chards.
Plant celery near to Cauliflower/ romanesco to repel the white cabbage butterfly.
These plants will not grow well with Romanesco broccoli so avoid planting these within close proximity:
2 Don’t plant Cauliflower/ romanesco near strawberries or tomatoes – it doesn’t like either.
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Romanesco broccoli plants:
Club root fungal disease. Ensure soil not acidic, if it is the pH can be raised to between 6.5 and 7.5 by liming the soil before planting. Never plant brassicas in the same soil each year, rotate brassicas with other crops.
caterpillars, slugs, snails
The word broccoli comes from the Italian broccolo, the diminuitive of brocco, meaning shoot, stalk.
2 The Latin name Brassica derives from the Celtic ‘bresic’. The species oleracea refers to a vegetable garden herb that is used in cooking, while botrytis is a Greek word meaning ‘clusterlike’ or ‘grapelike’.
The English word cauliflower comes from the Latin words caulis, meaning ‘stem’ or ‘cabbage’, and flos, ‘flower’
Roman references to a cabbage-family vegetable that may have been broccoli are less than perfectly clear: the Roman natural history writer, Pliny the Elder, wrote about a vegetable that fit the description of broccoli. This would imply that the Romans grew their own broccoli for culinary uses during the 1st century. Some vegetable scholars recognize broccoli in the cookbook of Apicius.
Broccoli was an Italian vegetable, as its name suggests, long before it was eaten elsewhere. At that time it was a sprouting type, not the single large head that is seen today. It is first mentioned in France in 1560, but in 1724 broccoli was still so unfamiliar in England that Philip Miller’s Gardener’s Dictionary (1724 edition) referred to it as a stranger in England and explained it as “sprout colli-flower” or “Italian asparagus.” In the American colonies, Thomas Jefferson was also an experimenting gardener with a wide circle of European correspondents, from whom he got packets of seeds for rare vegetables. He noted the planting of broccoli at Monticello along with radishes, lettuce, and cauliflower on May 27, 1767. Nevertheless, broccoli remained exotic in American gardens. In 1775, John Randolph, in A Treatise on Gardening by a Citizen of Virginia, felt he had to explain about broccoli: “The stems will eat like Asparagus, and the heads like cauliflower.”
Cauliflower Romanesco, Fractal Broccoli, Broccoflower, Coral Broccoli, Roman Cauliflower, Minaret, Romanesco broccoli, Calabrese romanesco, Broccoflower, Romanesco
Misspellings: Brocoli, Brocolli, Brocoflower,
29 Dec 2012
The plant grew well and healthy, but never fruited.
19 May 2011
Something different, takes up a bit of space but is worth it for its appearance alone. Cooks up and tastes just fine.
Romanesco broccoli care instructions
How long does Romanesco broccoli take to grow?
Our when to plant Romanesco broccoli estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!
Popular varieties of Romanesco broccoli
- (Autumn) Green Calabrese
- Small Miracle Hybrid
- Romanesco natalino
- Apollo Hybrid
- Celio F1
Romanesco broccoli Tags
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