Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ornamental Vegies

This post is linked to Plantchaser , where he is celebrating his birthday and Blog Anniversary. He is successful and happy both in his professional life and bloglife, that he is giving raffle prizes to his constant followers. I wish he can treat me at least a plate of Brassica! hahaha!

BroccoliCauliflower, cultivar unknown
Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

I am very fond of eating broccoli (wonder why the famous person doesn't)! With mushroom or shrimp, onions and soy sauce, it already makes me very happy. It is also very easy and quick to prepare. Not all people eating broccoli knows it is a flower, not unlike cauliflower. The latter however, is very obviously a flower because it says so! We had a hearty laugh in the family recently because my young niece thought that cauliflower is the flower of broccoli. She even explained how it happened, in her very young mind, of course! Both broccoli and cauliflower share the same names, Brassica oleracea. To delineate identities the term variety was added to the Genus and species, however they are both variety botrytis. I wonder why the taxonomists don't delineate their names, when they really look very different. They can't even pass as fraternal twins (joke). Only the sprouting broccoli is different, it is called Brassica oleracea var italica.

Another interesting Brassica oleracea is variety acephala or the ornamental cabbage. It is also edible but mostly used as ornamental plants because of the many variation in leaf color. Many forms and hybrids are already available. The veins  are prominently displayed and leaves have shapes like elegant lace. It doesn't produce heads like the capitata group or the normal cabbage we eat as vegetables. The normal temperatures of the Philippines are not suitable for Brassica oleracea var acephala, except in some highlands like the Cordilleras and Tagaytay during colder months when temperatures get lower than 20 degrees Celsius. The following photos, I took in 2007, are produced in the highlands and brought to the lowlands for exhibit.

For further botanical classification of Brassica please refer to: http://www.ethnoleaflets.com/leaflets/broccoli.htm 

Broccoli and cauliflower photos above are from www.en.wikipedia.org


  1. I love to eat both cauliflower and broccoli. We eat them both raw in salads---and we eat them steamed with a meal as our veggies. In fact, we had a combo dish of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for dinner tonight. YUM..

  2. Hi Betsy, i had it last night, broccoli with shrimp, spinach, carrots, and i added some pineapple. Hmmm, how nice to have a cup of coffee after. thanks Betsy.

  3. Those ornamental are breathtaking! Wish I have them in my garden. (Close my eyes like 'I Dream of Jeanie'.)

    Caulifower is not my favourite. There may be worms in there... It's hard to reach. I like most other vegetables.

  4. Andrea,

    The Bramble Hairstreak you asked about is the size of you thumbnail pretty small. Have you visited Butterflies of Singapore, the link is in my sidebar. We see lots the these ornamental cabbages in the fall and winter here, too hot in the summer for them.

  5. Not my favorite vegetable but it sure is pretty and healthy for you.

  6. Are you some kind of seer? Like Betsy, we had both kinds among our steamed vegetables for dinner this evening. Plus lechon cebu. Hehehe.

    It is very interesting that both vegetables are the same species yet look and taste completely different.

    Thank you for being #1 among the blog entries.

  7. Love all the brassicas! Those ornamental ones were very popular a few years ago but I have'nt seen them in ages.

  8. I love broccoli so much taht I put it even in 'nilaga' and 'sinigang'. Have you tried that?

    The ornamental cabbage is a very common 'fall plants' once the summer season is over. Its one of those I consider indicators that the dreaded winter is just around the corner.

  9. Really pretty ornamentals. But like you, I love eating both broccoli and cauliflower. In fact, on Sunday it was a broccolli/shrimp scampi almost like you made yours. It had carrots too, and the seasoning was a butter garlic sauce. No pineapple though.

  10. I love both broccoli and cauliflower. Funny how things get in our minds when we are young. Cute story.

  11. One - if only they will thrive in our climate, a lot had been planting them a long time ago. I think you can have them only in Genting and Cameron Highlands. In reaching the inner crevices you should use a toothpick. BTW, their worms are very small maybe only 3mm long but their presence indicates they are not bathed with pesticides, as these vegetables are also loved by pests.

    Randy - Yes these vegies are common in your countries but not in ours. However, our butterflies are also as pretty if not even prettier than those in the cold climes. Thanks for the info on Singapore butterfly link, they have those almost similar to ours.

    Tina - hehe you are just like the famous person in your country, doesn't like brassica.

    Bom - when people have been in contact or in their minds for quite a while, they may have switched to the same vibrations. Do you know that 'like attracts like' when it comes to energies! haha. I hope some more people will link here, it is not good not to have companions.

    Bridget - i see lots of styles of these ornamental cabbages in the net, and i love them all, if only they will fit our climate. Its amazing how people long for those not in their vicinity.

  12. SR - i envy you for having lots of these brassicas available to you, and much cheaper. They are expensive here because they are not grown anywhere but mostly in colder climates, and very susceptible to pests. I eat them here trying to exclude the thought that they are very well bathed in pesticides, or else they will be outpaced by insects. This is what i buy mostly when in colder climes. That means i dont just put them in nilaga or sinigang, but in more 'sosyal' dish. lol

    GreenApples - yes, with butter garlic sauce, the steamed ones are favorite too. But i refrain from too fatty foods now. Just steamed with salt and pepper is already good for me!

    Holleygarden - young minds really create the unbelievables, that's why fiction and superheroes go well with them pretty good.

  13. I enjoyed your post. You made the broccoli and cauliflower look quite pretty, and the ornamental cabbage photos were beautiful!

    Thanks for your nice comment on my blog.

  14. I love to eat both those veggies especially cauliflower cheese.

    As for those ornamental cabbages - I never knew you could eat them though any time I've grown them the pigeons have loved eating them.

  15. Andrea, my aunt was able to grow broccoli in her organic garden and I didnt see any telltale signs of insect infestations. The broccoli heads were so big I was really amazed. Her garden was just a few kilometers away from our farm. I saw it in february so it means she grew them during the colder months. I'd love to try it in the farm someday.

    So when you eat broccoli there do you pair it with 'sosyal' dishes that you cooked too? LOL

  16. Love the ornamental Veggies, they look so special and beautiful!
    Thank you for your kind comment and I am glad your native orchid doing so well - it's a special treat to see it in flower!

  17. Ah, but no companions would have guaranteed you the prize and you could have had more than just a plate of Brassicas! :-D

    I, too, prefer them steamed with salt and pepper.

  18. Corner Garden Sue - Thanks for appreciating what i've done to Brassicas. I actually enjoyed putting my photos in a different perspective, than just being in my files for a long time.

    Rosie - now you can garnish your dishes with decorations of these ornamental cabbages, just like those pieces of parsley and basil leaves. And anybody can eat them too. I just saw it in literatures, as we dont have them here often.

    Greggo - thanks. LOL.

    SR - thanks for dropping 2x and i enjoyed both exchanging short talks with you. Organic gardening presents real nice strategies because the area is usually not so wide for the insects to continue life cycle. In wide monoculture areas like in Benguet, insects are plenty, because usually an area planted to cabbage is also the area planted to broccoli and cauliflower. Maybe your aunt's plants are surrounded by many other plants and also it is newly introduced. The insects might not be aware yet, or repelled by the vegetation.

    haha, when i prepare broccoli i make sure that it's specific taste doesn't fade with the mixture, as in 'sinigang' where it will taste sour. With shrimp it is already a sosyal dish!

    Klaraau - thank you very much. Whenver i see my white endemic orchid flowering, i always send positive energies to you!

    Bom - thanks to you, just like SR for coming here 2x. I love our exchanges here. I also thank you for putting up that post, as i already have forgotten those photos which have just been stored in the files. With this, i realized my last photo is nice! Did you see my almost inconspicuous watermark?

  19. Yes, congratulations! All bloggers should watermark especially since so many of you are excellent photographers.

  20. I love both cauliflower and broccoli. To me they look very similar especially when cut up, just different colours. I didn't know the ornamental ones were edible, somehow they are not so appealing. thanks for an interesting post.

  21. So luck to come across your excellent blog. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun.. Good luck with the site.

  22. I love eating broccoli and cauliflower and coffee! too. Most of the time I like the vegies stir fried with a lil bit of garlic, and/or shallots, ginger and salt. We call broccoli 'Kai Lan Flowers', so I already know it is a flower, hehe.

    The first time I saw the ornamental cabbage roses were at a funeral but I love them. I saw some at the Secret Garden but it is not growing well.

  23. I love brocolli & cauliflower,
    its an easy stir fry dish and just goes well with anything.
    I never seen them being planted though - perhaps they are highland plants, I guess.

  24. i prefer broccoli to cauliflower. those ornamental cabbages are so eye-catching but too beautiful too eat.

  25. Catmint - maybe the ornamental cabbages are not appealing to the tongue because they already appeal to the eyes. lol. thanks for your comments.

    Flowers Delivery Mumbai - a am intrigued by your site, and why you said good luck to the site! thanks for coming.

    Autumn Belle - maybe those you see in the lowlands came from your highlands too, during cold months.

    James - yes and they can actually be just blanched and ready for eating.

    Life Ramblings - I have the same feelings like you, prefer broccoli than cauliflower, and those ornamentals are too beautiful to eat. Haha! thanks for the appreciation.

  26. I love broccoli too! I like it fresh from the garden. It is easy to grow and it's tasty. My boys like it too. The ornamental plants look stunning! I planted them once in fall but they got rotten after the heavy snow.
    Thank you Andrea for your very kind comment on my blog! I appreciate your comments very much. I like your sense of humor!

  27. Your blog brings me a great deal of fun..thank you


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