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 Brassica subsp. var.  
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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Brassica (old classical name). Including Sinapis. Cruciferae. Annual and biennial herbs, including cabbage and turnip, and their allies, and also the mustards.

Leaves various, the lower ones mostly lyrate or pinnatind: fls. yellow, mostly in erect racemes; petals and stamens 4: pod long and slender, compressed-cylindrical or 4-eided, beaked; seeds not winged, the cotyledons conduplicate (Figs. 625,626) .—Nearly or quite 100 species in Eu., Asia, Afr., and many of them widely naturalized. The brassicas possess a remarkable natural tendency toward the thickening of parts under cult., as of root, st., axillary buds, If.-rosettes, midribs and even of fl.-clus- ters. Oil is extracted from the seeds of several species, and the ground mustard of commerce is made from the seeds of B. nigra and others.

The brassicas are botanically much confused, particularly in the groups containing cultivated species. The manuals probably contain too few rather than too many species of Brassica; at least, the miscellaneous throwing of rutabagas, turnips, rape and other plants into Brassica campestris is unnatural, and, therefore, unfortunate. One of the best presentations of the true brassicas is that of De Candolle's Prodromus, as long ago as 1824 (also in Trans. Lond. Hort. Soc., Vol. V, and in Systema, 2:582-607), and the present treatment follows that outline in general. Some of the forms that are here kept separate as species may be derived from their fellows, but the evidence of such origin is lost, and perspicuity demands that they be kept distinct in a horticultural treatise. The taxonomic arrangement here presented can be regarded as only tentative, however, and new systematic studies should be made of the entire group.

The confusion into which our brassicas have fallen is in some measure due to the various vernacular names in the different countries. The French use the word chou generically to include all forms of B. oleracea and the rutabaga—that is, all the blue thick-leaved brassicas; while in England the rutabaga is called the Swedish turnip. A tabular view of the different vernaculars may be useful:

French. English. American.

Chou calabus Cabbage Cabbage

Chou de Milan Savoy cabbage Savoy cabbage

Chou de Bruxelles Brussels Sprouts Brussels Sprouts

Choux-verts Borecole or Kale Borecole or Kale

Chou-rave Kohlrabi Kohlrabi

Chou-nave Swede, or Swedish turnip Rutabaga

                      Turnip-rooted cabbage 

Chou-fleur Cauliflower Cauliflower

Navet Turnip Turnip

The Latin names in Brassica, particularly in the oleracea-campestris group, have been so variously used that it is practically impossible to place some of them accurately.

Many forms of Brassica have been described that it is not necessary to endeavor to account for here. Studies in crossing may be expected to indicate some of the relationships. The writer has found no difficulty in crossing cabbage-kale-cauliflower and others. See Lund and Kiaerskou, Land- brugets. Kulturplanter No. 4; and "Morfologiakanatomiak beskrivelse af Brassica oleracea, B. campeatria og B. Napus.' L H B

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



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