Seed World

Year of the Brassica

Chinese or Napa Cabbage are barrel shaped and either green or yellow on the inside and usually have a green exterior. They are best eaten raw or lightly cooked. Varieties include: China Express F1, Michihli, Bilko F1

Origin: Western Europe, Mediterranean and temperate regions of Asia

Family: Brassica

Genus: Brassicaceae

Includes: Bok choy, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, Collards, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Rutabagas, Turnips

Fun Fact: The Chinese philosopher Confucius, before dying in 479 B.C., wrote more than 300 songs describing life in the Chou dynasty. Many of the songs were agriculturally themed and named over 40 foods of the time, including cabbage.

A Bit of History: Highly nutritional, providing a source of vitamin C and fiber, most members of the garden Brassicas all belong to the same species: Brassica oleracea. Simple and natural mutations led to the development of large leaves in kale and collards, while other mutations led to the development of heads in cabbage, arrested flower development in broccoli and cauliflower, or prolific development of axillary buds in Brussels sprouts.

Breeders: American Takii, Bejo Seeds, Sakata, Seeds by Design, Seminis, Syngenta

Source: National Garden Bureau.