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Broccoli and cauliflower are herbaceous plants (meaning they have nonwoody stems) and are widely adapted throughout temperate and subtropical regions of the world. They are closely related members of the Brassicaceae family, also known as the cabbage family, which includes other cool-season cole crops like cabbages, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, collards and radishes. Cole crops can tolerate frost, are generally hardy and mature in cool weather. The name broccoli came from the Italian word “brocco,” meaning “shoot,” which refers to sprouting broccoli. The name cauliflower is believed to have been derived from the Italian word “cavolfiore,” meaning “cabbage flower.”
Frelier, Johannah; Cummins, Denyse; and Motsenbocker, Carl, "Sustainable Gardening for School and Home Gardens: Broccoli and Cauliflower" (2021). Sustainable Gardening for School and Home Gardens. 9.