Plant Name: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Plant Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. Botrytis
Cauliflower is probably native to the Mediterranean regions of Southeastern Europe and descended from the same parent plant as cabbage and broccoli. It was used almost exclusively in Italy until the 16th century when Catherine de Medici, member of an influential Italian family, married Henry II of France. From France, cauliflower cultivation eventually spread to other areas of Europe. Cauliflower was often confused with broccoli and the names were often used interchangeably. It was sometimes referred to as broccoli cabbage or Calabrian cabbage. It was first grown in North America in the late 1600s.
In 1883, Vilmorin, a French horticulturist, theorized that broccoli developed before cauliflower as farmers experimented in developing shoots rather than compact heads. The result was the beginnings of cauliflower cultivation that later lead to development of the highly prized white heads of cauliflower.
Cauliflower heads may develop a slight green color. To keep the curds snowy white, tie up the center leaves with an elastic band as the heads begin to form.
Purple Cauliflower was a discovery of a spontaneous mutant plant in a cauliflower field in the late 1980s, combined with breeding work in Denmark. The color properties are very stable and the plant grows well in warm areas.