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BRASSICA oleracea (Alboglabra Group)

Image of Brassica oleracea (Alboglabra Group)

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

BRASSICA oleracea( Alboglabra Group)

Plant Common Name

Chinese Broccoli

General Description

Chinese broccoli is an annual vegetable long popular in Asia and increasingly grown in Western gardens. This cool-season green traces its ancestry to Brassica oleracea, a fleshy-leaved, short-lived perennial from coastal areas of western and southern Europe. It is grown for its loosely clustered green flower buds and pungent leaves, which are harvested and eaten before the flowers open. The flower buds are borne on thick erect stems furnished with blue-green, paddle-shaped, long-stalked leaves. Both the buds and the leaves taste similar to broccoli, but with tangy hints of mustard. Plants are relatively tolerant of heat compared to Italian broccoli, but may become lanky and flower prematurely ("bolt") in extremely hot weather. Depending on the variety, Chinese broccoli takes 40 to 70 days from sowing to harvest.

This cool weather crop prefers full sun and fertile, organic-rich garden soil with ample drainage. Chinese broccoli should be sown in early spring before temperatures heat up, or in summer for fall harvest. In relatively moderate climates it can be harvested through summer. It makes an excellent winter or early spring crop for areas with mild winters. Harvest heads promptly to prevent bolting and to initiate development of flowering side shoots. Use them in stir-fries or steamed. Harvest young leaves for salads and older ones for cooking.

This vegetable is rewarding to grow and well worth the effort. As with all members of Brassica oleracea, it is susceptible to cabbage loopers and several other types of caterpillars.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Width

    10"-18" / 25.4cm - 45.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Summer

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Western Europe, Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Blue Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Blue Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes