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Brussels Sprouts

Toy cabbage, Breton

Cruciferae Brassica oleracea L. (Gemmifera group)

Source: Magness et al. 1971

This plant of the cabbage family attains a height of up to 3 feet. The edible parts are small, very compact heads or "sprouts" fanned in the axils of the leaves along the stem. Leaves are large, with long petioles, so form a canopy above and around the edible heads. The latter are 1 to 2 inches across and are comprised of tightly packed leaves and core, resembling miniature cabbage heads. As the main plant stem elongates additional small heads are formed, so harvest is extended with heads ready to harvest and others forming at the same time. Plants are usually started in outdoor beds and transplanted to the field.

Season, from transplanting to first harvest: 3 to 3.5 months.

Production in U.S.: 37,000 tons.

Use: Fresh market and frozen. Pot herbs.

Part of plant consumed: Small heads or "sprouts" produced in leaf axils.

Last update February 18, 1999 by ch