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Although it is a variant of cabbage, cauliflower is grown for its thickened, profuse, undeveloped flowers and flower stalks instead of its leaves. The word "cauliflower" comes from the Latin terms caulis (cabbage) and floris (flower).


Cauliflower may be cooked, pickled, or eaten raw. It provides large amounts of vitamin C and sulfur, and smaller amounts of vitamin A and phosphorus.


Cauliflower grows best in cool, moist weather such as that found in some of the Pacific Coast states. It is also grown in Southern states during the late fall and the winter. Leading producer states include California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas.

The plants are usually grown from seed in a hotbed or greenhouse. Then, they are transplanted to the field. Most growers tie the large leaves around the head while it is growing to keep the flowers white.


The oldest record of cauliflower dates back to the 6th century B.C., Pliny wrote about it in the 2nd century A.D., and by the 12th century at least three varieties were being grown in Spain.

Scientific Classification

family Cruciferae (mustards)
genus & species Brassica oleracea botrytis

See Also


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The Robinson Library >> Vegetables

This page was last updated on 08/21/2018.