I can recall the traumatic childhood dinners where my mother always forced me to sit at the table until I finish my much-hated broccoli. No doubt, many of us have been in that shoe when we were a child.
As I grow up, I began to under how healthful broccoli can be. Despite the reputation of broccoli as a nutritional powerhouse, some people can’t stand the taste. But why? That is a question to answer another day. Regardless of whether you hate them or love them the benefits of this vegetable can’t be denied. So if you are thinking of including them to your diet or want to know about broccoli, this article will provide you everything you need to know.
- What Is Broccoli?
- How many Types of Broccoli do we have?
- 5 Popular Broccoli Types That Are Most Easily Grown
- 1. Calabrese broccoli
- 2. Belstar broccoli
- 3. Purple Sprouting broccoli
- 4. Green Goliath
- 5. Chinese broccoli (KaiLan or GaiLan)
- Types of Broccoli with Strange Shape
- Types of Broccoli with Most Prominent Flowers
- • Waltham 29 broccoli
- • Gypsy Broccoli
- • Fiesta Broccoli
- • Sun King
- • Destiny broccoli
- • Blue Wind broccoli
- Types of Broccoli with Largest Size
- • Nutri-Bud
- • Packman broccoli
- • Express broccoli
- • Munchkin
- • Spigariello Liscia
- Types of Broccoli with Smallest Size
- • De Cicco broccoli
- • Amadeus broccoli
- • Sorrento broccoli
What Is Broccoli?
Broccoli is known to be a green plant, and it is also called a vegetable and a natural Detoxifying herb. They are edible, and the highest ranked member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Broccoli is a member of the species Brassica oleracea where kale, sprouts, Brussels, cauliflower, and cabbage are also included. Also, the cultivar group of this vegetable is called Italica. The edible stalk of this green plant is thick and on top of it are flower heads which colors are usually green. The arrangement of the flowers and stalk gives broccoli their tree-like structure.
Broccoli is a native of the Mediterranean where it once grew wild in about the sixth century BC. Originally, the green plant was cultivated in Italy. However, the commercial growth of this vegetable was traced to begin in the U.S in around the 1920s. Also, its use was traced to England in around the 1700s and to France in the 16th century.
Broccoli is known to be a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and K are the prominent vitamins you can find in broccoli but they also contain vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin E. Also, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium are the prominent minerals that broccoli offers. However, it also contains minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, sodium. You can also derive energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates (dietary fiber and sugars), and water from broccoli. Additionally, unlike some other plants, broccoli does well in cool weather but doesn’t find hot summer friendly. The best time to grow them is early spring, but you can also grow them in the mid-summer and late fall.
How many Types of Broccoli do we have?
There are different broccoli types available, and there seems to be an endless list of the different varieties of the different types of broccoli. These varieties vary in size, shape, time of maturity, production of side shoot, disease resistance, and even texture. The different types of broccoli available and their varieties are:
♦ Mid-season broccoli varieties – They include Waltham 29, Fiesta, Marathon, Diplomat, Express, And Belstar.
♦ Early broccoli varieties – De Cicco, Blue Wind, Green Magic, Calabrese, Green Goliath, Amadeus, Bonanza, Flash, Gypsy, and Arcadia.
♦ Broccoli raab varieties –They include Sorrento, Rapini, Zamboni, Sessantina, Grossa, and Spigariello Liscia.
♦ Chinese broccoli varieties – The Happy Rich, Suiho, And Kailaan.
♦ Specialty broccoli varieties – Broccolini, Romanesco Broccoli (Veronica, Natalino, and Romanesco Italia), Sprouting Broccoli, Apollo, and Santee Broccoli also known as Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
5 Popular Broccoli Types That Are Most Easily Grown
Out of the different types of broccoli available, there are some types that are commonly grown in the grower’s garden. They are Calabrese broccoli, Belstar broccoli, Green Goliath, Purple Sprouting broccoli, and Romanesco.
1. Calabrese broccoli
It is an heirloom variety of broccoli from Italy that produces thick stalks and medium to large green heads. The head can be as large as 10cm to 20cm. It is an annual crop that grows well in the cool season (prime selection for zones three to ten). It is known to be prolific in producing side shoots after harvesting the central head. The Calabrese broccoli maturity period is about 65-days.
2. Belstar broccoli
This is a hybrid variety of broccoli that is known to have a good tolerance to both cold and heat. It means they are widely adapted. They are reliable as the Belstar can grow in the spring and fall. Also, they are known to be growing well in the winter. This type of broccoli produces blue-green heads that can measure about 6-inches. The maturity period of this broccoli is up to 65-days. Also, they are known to produce side shoots after the first crowns are harvested.
3. Purple Sprouting broccoli
This type of broccoli does not have a large main head like others. They feature a lot of small florets with purplish color. The Purple Sprouting broccoli is a very cold-hardy heirloom variety that is suitable for zones two to eleven. They also grow well in areas without winter and harsh summers. You can grow them for three successive harvest periods which include the early spring, mid-summer, an early fall. All their parts are quite tender. This means you can serve the stems with the leaves and florets attached.
4. Green Goliath
This common type of broccoli features lots of side shoots and extra-large heads with bluish-green color. The size of the heads makes it offer a large amount of harvest. They grow well in zones three to ten. The Green Goliath is quite unique when compared to some other varieties. They do not have a specific maturity period because the heads do not mature at the same time. This non-uniform fashion of maturity period gives grower the opportunity to harvest at different times over a period of several weeks.
5. Chinese broccoli (KaiLan or GaiLan)
It is a variety of broccoli that comes with thick stems and blue-green leaves that are glossy, flat, and thick. The flower heads are similar to other broccoli varieties but are much smaller. It is also stronger than some other broccoli. They are mostly planted in late summer and harvested in early winter. They are widely eaten in Chinese cuisine.
Types of Broccoli with Strange Shape
Most of the types of broccoli available are known to have the shape of a tree with large flowering heads and thick stalk, but there is one with a unique, strange shape. It is the Romanesco broccoli. It is an Italian heirloom variety that is known to be an edible flower bud. They come with pointed spiral florets that is chartreuse in color. The striking appearance of the Romanesco broccoli forms as a natural approximation of a fractal.
Its flavor is nutty and delicate. Also, the texture is crunchier compared to other vegetables. The Romanesco can be grown successfully in zone three to ten. However, be careful because they are sensitive to the slightest hint of temperature. To grow them successfully start seeds indoors and transplant them to the ground in early spring. However, ensure you avoid the heat of mid-summer.
Types of Broccoli with Most Prominent Flowers
• Waltham 29 broccoli
This type of broccoli is cold tolerance. Even though its maturity period can be up to 85 days, it is also known to mature at different times throughout their growing season. The main head of this broccoli is large with and blue-green in color. The head can grow up to 4-inches to 8-inches in diameter. They can be successfully grown in early spring and late fall.
• Gypsy Broccoli
This type of broccoli grows even when the soil is not perfect. They are one of the broccoli plants with the earliest blooming as their maturity period is about 60-days. Gypsy broccoli comes with medium-sized heads that are green in color. They also produce a great number of side shoots.
• Fiesta Broccoli
This broccoli type has very thick stems and well-domed, dense heads. They are ideal for late summer growing, but their tolerance to heat is limited when they reach maturity. Unlike others, their side shoot production is limited. The maturity period of fiesta broccoli is around 65-days to 75-days.
• Sun King
This type of broccoli can be grown in all zones successfully. They are tolerant to heat and comes with blue-green heads that can grow up to 6-inches to 8-inches in diameter. Like some other broccoli types, they produce lots of side shoots and reach their maturity around 70-days.
• Destiny broccoli
It is a hybrid variety that has the tolerance to heat exceptionally. This means they can grow successfully in zones seven to eleven. The Destiny broccoli grows to produce heads that small to medium in size. The heads are also green in color, and the green is most times tingled with purple. The maturity period of this broccoli type is between 70-days and 75-days.
• Blue Wind broccoli
This type of broccoli has tight, large heads with bluish-green leaves. The maturity period is about 49-days to 55-days. The production of the side shoots is in large amount, and this also contributes toa larger harvest.
Generally, broccolis that have larger heads with lots of green nibs tend to have the most prominent flowers when they bolt and go to flower. Other varieties of broccolis with large heads that can result in prominent flowers when they go to flower are Nutri-Bud, Arcadia Belstar, Packman, and Munchkin. Broccolis such as the Purple Sprouting, Broccoli Raab, Chinese broccoli, Broccolini, and Apollo has small to medium sized heads and therefore do not produce prominent flowers.
Types of Broccoli with Largest Size
This is a type of broccoli that can be grown both in the spring and fall. The florets heads at the center are deep-green in color. The heads are large, and so are the leaves. The period of maturity is around 55-days to 70-days.
• Packman broccoli
This type o broccoli is very tender, and they offer mild flavor. The heads are large and uniformly sized. Also, they produce tight buds and their planting season spring and fall.
• Express broccoli
This type of broccoli produces large heads with deep blue-green colors. The size of the heads is between 6-inches to 7-inches in diameter and the maturity period of this broccoli type is around 75-days. Their leaves are also large in size.
This is a variety of broccoli that is open-pollinated and has a dwarf growth pattern. They grow to about 12-inches tall and the heads they produce are large and deep bluish-green in color. The maturity period is about 60-days to 65-days, and the Munchkin broccoli offers grassy, earthy flavor.
• Spigariello Liscia
This variety of broccoli grows between 14-inches and 24-inches. Also, they are tender and their period of maturity is around 45-days.
Types of Broccoli with Smallest Size
• De Cicco broccoli
This type of broccoli is an Italian heirloom variety that has a maturity period of less than 50-days. Their heads are always fairly small. The size of the heads is often 3-inches to 4-inches.
• Amadeus broccoli
The heads of the Amadeus broccoli are small, and they have a high tolerance to cold. It means they can grow successfully in the winter and fall. Their maturity period is around 63-days to 68-days. Also, they are resistant to brown bead, downy mildew, and head rot.
• Sorrento broccoli
When you compare this type of broccoli with other Broccoli raab varieties, the Sorrento broccoli matures faster. The broccoli produces multiple heads that measure between 3-inches to 4-inches.
Above are the different types of broccoli available. Most of them can be grown in the home garden. However, it is important to know that the growing conditions of broccoli can vary from variety to variety. Also, their tastes vary and the maturity period varies. This is the reason why it is advisable that you grow different varieties of broccoli in your home garden. This will help you decide on the type of variety that will work for you. Additionally, know that no matter the type of broccoli you grow, you are going to benefit from the impressive nutritional profile of the edible green plant.