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Cabbage - Brassica oleracea

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Species Description

Stace 4:

Brassica oleracea L. - Cabbage.

Glabrous biennial to perennial to 2m; stems often decumbent and woody below, with numerous leaf-scars, erect above; roots never tuberous (unless diseased); basal leaves crenate to deeply lobed; stem-leaves clasping stem at base; sepals erect; petals 12-30mm; fruit (2.5)5-10cm, with a conical beak 3-10mm with 0-2 seeds; 2n=18. Probably native on sea-cliffs scattered round Britain, mostly in South; common casual on tips, neglected gardens and roadsides throughout British Isles. Wild plants are var. oleracea (Wild Cabbage); the commonest crop-plants are placed in var. capitata L. (Cabbage), var. sabauda L. (Savoy Cabbage), var. viridis L. (Kale), var. botrytis L. (Cauliflower, Broccoli), var. gemmifera DC. (Brussels-sprout), and var. gongylodes L. (Kohl-rabi).


  • Stem-leaves distinctly clasping stem at base
  • Sepals erect in flower; flowering part of inflorescence elongated, the buds greatly overtopping open flowers; plant glabrous