Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale and Brussels sprouts are all common vegetables which are simply different cultivated varieties of the same species, Brassica oleracea. In its uncultivated form it is called wild cabbage, and is native to coastal southern and western Europe. Wild cabbage is a hardy plant with a high tolerance for salt and lime and low tolerance to competition from other plants. It has become established as an important human food crop plant, because it is rich in essential nutrients including Vitamin C, which are stored over the winter in its leaves. The genome of B. oleracea is extremely useful in helping to understand the timing and nature of the evolutionary events that have led to the diversification of the Brassica genus and serves as an important resource for Brassica vegetable and oilseed crop breeding.
Next: Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
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