2017: The Year of the Brassica

Laidback Gardener

20170130a Brassicas are an impressive group of vegetables.

Each year the National Garden Bureau, a non-profit organization promoting the pleasures of home gardening, selects one bulb, one annual, one edible plant and one perennial to celebrate in their Year of program. It’s a great way to discover a new plant or to learn a bit more about a plant you may already be growing.

Here is the third of the four plants honored in 2017, the brassica.

What? The word brassica doesn’t ring a bell? Yet, I’m sure you eat brassicas quite often. You see, the genus Brassica includes a host of very common vegetables: cabbage, turnip, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and many more. It’s just the name brassica that’s unfamiliar. They’re also known as cole crops, derived from the Latin word caulis for stem. You may have noticed these terms in cole slaw and cauliflower.

20170130b Four-petaled flowers are a rarity in nature, except…

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