All About That Brassica
Short quiz here: name as many as you can the types of vegetable greens are out there. (No, general name ‘salad’ doesn’t count.)
If you cooked healthy greens often for your meals, you would have come across terms such as ‘cabbage’, ‘kale’, ‘spinach’, ‘broccoli’ and ‘cauliflower’. But today, I won’t be lecturing about how healthy green is for you. I’m going to talk about a vegetable that is not for eating. And ‘cabbage’, ‘kale’ ‘spinach’, ‘broccoli’ and ‘cauliflower’ etc. have a common link to this one vegetable that flowers. Everybody, please meet the Brassica family (picture of it as below). The one you’ll like to pay more attention to is Mini Brassica.
Let’s see what Brassica is about. Brassica is the Latin name for a genus of plants in the mustard family. Translate it to non-Latin would be Kale, Cabbage or Mustard. The Brassica also consist in its family the flowering kind of vegetables such as Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Collards, Rutabaga and Turnip. (Ahh, see the connection link now?). Here’s something new to learn today: there are some cabbages meant for meal consumption, but some cabbages like the Mini Brassica is grown specifically as an ornamental plant. Variety of the Brassica species usually comes in arresting green, white and purple hues, making Mini Brassica quite a colourful bunch of flowers!
On and off, you’ll perhaps hear from florists spouting names such as Brassica Green, Brassica Red Crane, Brassica White & White Crane, Kale Sunset and Kale Tokyo. However, in case some florists are unfamiliar with the alien word ‘Brassica’, just show the picture to them or ask for ‘Kale’ / ‘Cabbage flowers’. Most Brassicas start blossoming in autumn and will be at its peak when winter is near.
Unlike other popular flowers, Brassicas are sturdier, less fragile and longer-lasting due to their waxy but tough stems and leaves. Brassicas has the ability to remain fresh as cut ‘flowers’ for a solid week; with floral preservatives, could possibly last longer than that.
“Wait a minute… Vegetable? Cabbage as a pretty plant for a house décor?” It seems hard to digest that thought at first, but look again. Brassicas aren’t that horrible-looking, and could compliment your room’s colour schemes like any other flowers. Some florists have considered them as one of the prettiest and are favoured widely by many flower enthusiasts. So, why not give it a benefit of a doubt? Consider them an alternative when you do the next floral arrangement ;)
Hey! *Wink, nudge* I give you a secret how to open your brassica to make it more like a full-bloom flower here:
- Peel back the outer leaves of the Brassica, one leaf at a time. Work with the leaves carefully, but you can tug firmly to splay them out. If you find that some of the outer leaves are yellowing, broken or rotting, simply pull them off and move to the next row of inner leaves. There will be plenty to work at as you open more leaves closer to its core.
- Twist the stem with one hand and peel the leaves back with the other, one by one as they spiral up the bloom.
- See a rose-like shape coming up? That is how you create an open bloom on this flower =D
PS: The woody stems from these cabbage flowers can dirty the water very quickly. So, change water regularly in order to eliminate potential cabbage smell from water.
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