Brassica oleracea

Wild form of vegetables cabbage on Helgoland

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) is a form- rich plant of the genus (Brassica ) in the family of cruciferous plants ( Brassicaceae ), whose breeding forms include some vegetables.


The cabbage is a one-to two -year ( cultivars ) or perennial, herbaceous species, which can be woody at the base, however. The plant height is 40 to 120 centimeters. The plants are projecting - sparrig, but little branched and upright. The leaves are often wiped blue frosting and mostly bare. The upper stem leaves are rounded at the base or narrowed and sitting.

The sepals are erect, the petals are sulfur yellow. The stamens are erect. Bloom time is from May to September. Pollination is by insects or by self-pollination. The fruits are typical of the family pods. The distribution of seeds carried by the wind, through self- propagation or by man ( Anemochorie, Autochorie, Hemerochorie ).

All forms and varieties have the same chromosome number 2n = 18, you have about 100,000 genes distributed over a genome of 599-868 Mb ( million base pairs), and thus 4-10 times more than in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.


The cultivated forms come out in gardens and fields rarely neophyte before and can then be found on debris and on fresh, nutrient-rich soils.

Originally, the wild form was native to the meridional to temperate, oceanic influenced coastal areas of Europe. It grows on rocks, in part, on coastal cliffs, but also in the mountains. In Germany the wild form is found only on the island of Heligoland is here called " clip cabbage". It grows here in the plant community Brassicetum oleraceae ( Crithmo - Armerion maritimae ) on the rocky slopes of the island and partly on ruderal sites that are not accessible to the sheep.


Wild forms

The wild cabbage is found in five larger, non-contiguous areas. The plants of these areas differ in their morphology ( plant height, degree of branching, leaf characteristics, flower color ), but can be freely intercross. They are therefore performed depending on the author as an art or as a geographical race:

Cultivated forms

The many cultivated varieties of vegetable sprouts are guided as varieties. A distinction is usually ( in parentheses are the plants used parts):

  • Brassica oleracea var sabellica L. = green or kale (leaves)
  • Brassica oleracea var medullosa Thell. = Marrow stem kale (leaves, stem axis )
  • Brassica oleracea var gongylodes L. = kohlrabi ( thickened stem axis )
  • Brassica oleracea var palmifolia DC. = Italian cabbage, palm cabbage ( leaves)
  • Brassica oleracea var viridis L. = Kuhkohl, kale, perennial cabbage ( leaves)
  • Brassica oleracea convar. capitata L. = head cabbage Brassica oleracea convar. capitata var alba L. = white cabbage, white cabbage (leaves of the upset shoot ) Brassica oleracea var capitata for. alba subv. conica = cabbage, cabbage, Filderkraut
  • Brassica oleracea var costata DC. = Carbon ribs
  • Brassica oleracea var botrytis L. = cauliflower, cauliflower ( inflorescences) Brassica oleracea convar. botrytis var botrytis L. = Romanesco ( inflorescences)

Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis ) is one of the species Brassica rapa at (turnip ).


When and where the wild forms were placed in culture, can not understand itself. In 1980 there was the wild Brassica cretica occurring drawn by the locals in the fields about Samos. All wild forms and cultivated forms are crossable with each other. The Green kale can be detected at least for the Greece of the 3rd century BC, as well as for Italy. In Germany, he finds himself in the herbals of the 16th and 17th centuries. Kohlrabi and Collard Greens are mentioned by Pliny the Elder, in Germany, it can be from the 16th century to prove. The solid cabbages are only detected from this time, but are likely already at the time of Hildegard of Bingen in the 11th century have existed. Broccoli and cauliflower (cauliflower ) are likely to originate from southern Greece. About Genoa ( 1490 ), they should have come to France, Flanders and Germany. The first pictures are from 1542nd The Brussels sprouts are a very young form and dates from the 18th century, where he first appeared in Belgium.

Ingredients / effects

In addition to vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamins of the B complex, beta carotene, folic acid and potassium, calcium and iron, plenty of fiber and phytochemicals in cabbage vegetables contain. They support the natural defenses of the immune system and can help to reduce the risk of cancer.

In the cabbage glucosinolates are particularly rich present. With fiber and other ingredients they can prevent, among other things the formation of gastric ulcers. Furthermore, the consumption of plants from the cabbage family can help to influence the cholesterol and blood sugar levels low and to regulate the digestion naturally.

Pictures of Brassica oleracea