/brok"euh lee, brok"lee/, n.a form of a cultivated cruciferous plant, Brassica oleracea botrytis, whose leafy stalks and clusters of usually green buds are eaten as a vegetable. Cf. cauliflower.[1690-1700; < It, pl. of broccolo, equiv. to brocc(o) sprout ( < LL; see BROACH) + -olo dim. suffix]
* * *A fast-growing, upright, branched, annual plant, it bears dense green clusters of edible flower buds. Native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, it was introduced to the U.S. probably in colonial times. Broccoli thrives in moderate to cool climates. Its flavour resembles that of cabbage but is somewhat milder. It is one of the most broadly nutritious of all common vegetables.Broccoli (Brassica oleracea variety italica).G.R. Roberts
* * *▪ plant(Brassica oleracea, Italica group), form of cabbage (q.v.) of the mustard family (Brassicaceae). Broccoli is a fast-growing, upright, branched, annual plant, 600–900 millimetres (24–35 inches) tall that bears dense green clusters of flower buds at the ends of the central axis and the branches. In Great Britain the term broccoli refers to the cauliflower (q.v.; Brassica oleracea, Botrytis group). Native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, sprouting broccoli was cultivated in Italy in ancient Roman times and was introduced into England about 1720 and to America probably in colonial times. It thrives in moderate to cool climates and is propagated by seeds, either sown directly in the field or in plant beds to produce transplants. Broccoli reaches harvest in 60 to 150 days, depending upon the variety and the weather. The flavour of broccoli resembles that of cabbage but is somewhat milder.Fresh broccoli should be dark green in colour, with firm stalks and compact bud clusters; as a vegetable it is served raw or cooked.
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