1.2- Genus Brassica + Overview Brassica (/ˈbræsɨkə/) is a genus of plants in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). The members of the genus are informally known as cruciferous vegetables, cabbages, or mustard plant. Crops from this genus are sometimes called cole crops - derived from the Latin caulis, denoting the stem or stalk of a plant. Members of brassica commonly used for food include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and some seeds. The genus is known for its important agricultural and horticultural crops and includes a number of weeds, both of wild taxa and escapees from cultivation. It counts over 30 wild species and hybrids plus numerous cultivars and hybrids of cultivated origin. Most are seasonal plants (annuals or biennials), but some are small shrubs. Brassica plants have been the subject of much scientific interest for their agricultural importance. Six particular species (Brassica carinata, B. juncea, B. oleracea, B. napus, B. nigra and B. rapa) evolved by the combining of chromosomes from three earlier species, as described by the Triangle of U theory. The genus is native in the wild in western Europe, the Mediterranean and temperate regions of Asia and many wild species grow as weeds, especially in North America, South America, and Australia. A dislike for cabbage or broccoli can result from the fact that these plants contain a compound similar to phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), which is bitter or tasteless to some people depending on their 'taste buds'. In the division of a large number of plants in the plant kingdom into the groups "monocotyledon" and "dicotyledon" all members of Brassica are dicotyledons.
2- The Important Species of the Genus Brassica that are edible
2.1- Species Brassica balearica - Mallorca cabbage Brassica balearica Pers. is a tertiary wild relative of a number of crops in the brassica group. It is a Perennial plant. Brassica balearica is an endemism exclusive to Mallorca. It lives in the Serra de Tramuntana (northern mountain range) occupying rocky crevices in the rocky cliff faces of mountains, generally in shady places. It is characterised by its shiny, fleshy leaves with wavy margins which are concentrated at the base of the plant. It grows on inland cliffs, in limestone areas and in oak forests. There is no other plant in the rocky crags with similar leaves; it is unmistakable. It is suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure. Brassica balearicais assessed as Least Concern because it is a locally common species which does not currently face any major threats and the population is not reported to be in decline. B. balearicais a tertiary wild relative of and potential gene donor to a number of crops in the brassica group; including broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede, turnip and oilseed rape.
2.2- Species Brassica carinata - Abyssinian mustard or Abyssinian cabbage Brassica carinata(also called Ethiopian mustard,Abyssinian mustard) is a member of theTriangle of Uspecies (U, 1935) in the agriculturally significantBrassicagenus. It has 34 chromosomes with genome composition BBCC, and is thought to result from an ancestral hybridisation event betweenBrassica nigra(genome composition BB) and Brassica oleracea(genome composition CC) (Prakash and Hinata, 1980). AlthoughB. carinatais cultivated as an oilseedcrop inEthiopia(Alemayehu and Becker, 2004), it has generally high levels of undesirableglucosinolatesand erucic acid(Getinet et al. 1997), making it a poor choice for general cultivation as an oilseed crop in comparison to the closely relatedBrassica napus(Rapeseed). The plant is also grown as aleaf vegetable, with a mild flavor. It is known asyabesha gomeninAmharic.Named varieties includeTexsel, which is particularly adapted to temperate climates. The flowers are very attractive to honey bees which collect both pollen and nectar. Abyssinian mustard or Abyssinian cabbage, used to produce biodiesel. This plant is also part of a research to develop an aviation biofuel for jet engines. On October 29 of 2012, the first flight of a jet aircraft powered with 100 percent biofuel, made from brassica carinata, was completed.
2.3- Species Brassica elongata - Elongated mustard. + Overview Brassica elongata, theelongated mustard, is a species of the mustard plant that is native to parts of Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkan Peninsula, the Caucasus, Morocco and parts of Central Asia. Throughplant invasion this species has become naturalized in many other parts of the world. Some of these naturalized regions include South Africa, North Western Europe, Australia and North America. Given the wide range of climate and ecological conditions of these regions,B. elongatahas been able to disrupt the ecosystems of their native plant habitats and has been label as aninvasive speciesin many of its naturalized zones. In North America, this species is often found as a roadsideweedin the southwestern states, particularly in the state of Nevada.Studies allude that theCruciferaemight have migrated through theBering land bridgefrom what is now Central Asia.Commonly known as the long-stalked rape or aslangtraubiger Kohlin German, this species is a close cousin toBrassica napus(rapeseed) and a secondary genetic relative toB. oleracea(kale). As a close genetic species of the rapeseed, the long-stalked rape has one of the highest counts of accumulated polyunsaturated linoleic and linolenic acid.Both compounds are heavily used to manufacture vegetable oils.Brassica elongatahas the propagative potential of turning into ahorticulturalproduct from what is currently anoxious weed. The stems extend out from the base and are branched basally. The basal leaves areobovateto elliptic (10-35 millimetres or 0.4-1.4 inches) and its margins are sub-entiretodentate. The cauline leaves haveoblongorlanceolateleaves that are up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in length. The inflorescence israceme. + Subspecies There are five subspecies ofBrassica elongata: 1- Brassicaelongata, 2- Brassicaimdrhasiana, 3- Brassicaintegrifolia, 4- Brassicapinnatifida, and 5- Brassicasubscaposa.
2.4- Species Brassica fruticulosa - Mediterranean cabbage. + Overview Brassica fruticulosa(Mediterranean cabbageortwiggy turnip) is acabbage, a member of theagriculturally significant genusBrassica. It was described byDomenico Maria Leone Cirilloin 1792. - Description Brassica fruticulosahas a similar odour to cabbage andbroccoli, when crushed. The plant's stem is smooth and erect, varies from grey to green in colour, and can reach a height of 50 centimetres. The upper and lower leaves are stemmed, with the lower leaves beinglyre-shaped, lobed near the base, and bristly in parts. The lower leaves measure up to 15 centimetres. The plant produces 10 millimetre-long, pale yellow flowers with four petals each, on short stalks, with many branches forming at the end of a stem. It also bears apea pod-shapedsiliquawhich has a lumpy appearance and measures 2-4 centimetres in length. The seeds, when mature, are brown and spherical in appearance. - Distribution Brassica fruticulosais a wild cabbage which originated in southern Europe and North Africa. It has been introduced to Australia and North America (including California, U.S.A.), where it has subsequently become naturalized in the wild. + Subspecies and hybrids Brassica fruticulosa subsp. fruticulosa Brassica fruticulosa subsp. glaberrima Brassica fruticulosa subsp. mauritanica Brassica fruticulosa subsp. numidica Brassica fruticulosa subsp. pomeliana Brassica fruticulosa subsp. radicata Brassica fruticulosahas been syntheticallycross-bredwithBrassica rapa.
2.5- Species Brassica hiarionis - St Hilarion cabbage. Brassica hilarionisis a hairless perennial up to 1 m high with a basal rosette of roundish, fleshy, flat-stalked leaves, upper leaves stalkless and stem-clasping. Has large loose racemes of creamy white flowers with petals up to 2.5 cm long. Narrow beaked pods up to 7 cm. Flowers from Mars to May. It is found on limestone cliffs at altitudes of 400–850 m (Tsintideset al. 2007). Brassicahilarionisis endemic to Cyprus where it is restricted to the west part of Pentadaktylos range. It is known from seven localities, most of which are in state forest land from Kornos peak in the west to Giailas in the east (Tsintideset al.2007). Itsarea of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be 350 km2and its extent of occurrence (EOO) is less than 5,000 km2. Brassica hilarionisis a wild relative of and potential gene donor to a number of crops in the brassica group; including broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage,cauliflower,kale,rape,swede and turnip. The genus Brassicais listed in Annex I of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.Brassicahilarionisis listed in Annex I of the Bern Convention and in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. It is classified as Endangered in the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus (Tsintides et al. 2007).
2.6- Species Brassica juncea - Indian mustard, brown and leaf mustards, Sarepta mustard. Brassica juncea,mustard greens,Indian mustard, Chinese mustard,Kai Choi,orleaf mustardis a species ofmustard plant. Subvarieties include southern giant curled mustard, which resembles a headless cabbage such askale, but with a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor. It is also known as green mustard cabbage. The leaves, the seeds, and the stem of this mustard variety are edible. The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and soul foodcuisine. Cultivars ofB. junceaare grown as greens, and for the production ofoilseed. Brassica juncea is also known as Gai Choi, Siu Gai Choi, Xaio Jie Cai (Shiau Jie Tsai), Baby Mustard, Chinese Leaf Mustard and Mostaza. Brassica junceais more pungent than the closely relatedBrassica oleraceagreens (kale, cabbage,collard greens, et cetera), and is frequently mixed with these milder greens in a dish of "mixed greens", which may include wild greens such asdandelion. As with other greens in soul food cooking, mustard greens are generally flavored by being cooked for a long period withham hocksor other smokedporkproducts. Mustard greens are high invitamin Aand vitamin K. InRussia, this is the main variety grown for production ofmustard oil, which after refining is considered one of the best vegetable oils. It is widely used incanning,bakingandmargarineproduction in Russia, and the majority of tablemustardthere is also made from this species of mustard plant. Mustard oil is also the primary cooking oil used inEastern India. The leaves are used in Africancooking, and leaves, seeds, and stems are used inIndian cuisine, particularly in mountain regions ofNepal, as well as in thePunjabcuisine ofIndiaand Pakistan, where a famous dish calledsarson da saag(mustard greens)is prepared. Chinese and Japanese cuisines also make use of mustard greens. In Japanese cuisine it is known as takana and is often pickled and used as filling in onigiri or as a condiment. A large variety of B. juncea cultivars are used, including zha cai, mizuna, takana (var. integlofolia), juk gai choy, and xuelihong; var. crispifolia. Asian mustard greens are most often stir-fried or pickled. A Southeast Asian dish called asam gai choy or kiam chai boey is often made with leftovers from a large meal. It involves stewing mustard greens with tamarind, dried chillies and leftover meat on the bone.
2.7- Species Brassica napus:rapeseed,canola,rutabaga + Overview Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as rape, oilseed rape, rapa, rappi, rapaseed (and, in the case of one particular group of cultivars, canola), is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family), consumed in China as a vegetable. The name derives from the Latin for turnip, rāpa or rāpum, and is first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. Older writers usually distinguished the turnip and rape by the adjectives 'round' and 'long' (-'rooted'), respectively. Rutabagas, Brassica napobrassica, are sometimes considered a variety of Brassica napus. Some botanists also include the closely related Brassica campestriswithin Brassica napus. Brassica napus is cultivated mainly for its oil-rich seed, the third-largest source of vegetable oil in the world. Canola was originally a trademark, but is now a generic term in North America for edible varieties of rapeseed oil. In Canada, an official definition of canola is codified in Canadian law. Rapeseed oil had a distinctive taste and a greenish colour due to the presence of chlorophyll. It also contained a high concentration of erucic acid. + Top rapeseed producers in 2012 include: 1-European Union, 2-Canada, 3-China, 4-India, 5-France, 6-Germany, 7-Australia, 8-United Kingdom, 9-Poland, 10-Ukraine, 11-United States, 12-Czech Republic, 13-Russia, 14-Belarus, 15-Lithuania, 16-Denmark…
2.8- Species Brassica narinosa - Spoon mustard, broadbeaked mustard. Spoon mustard or Tatsoi(Brassica narinosa or Brassica rapa var. rosularis), also called spinach mustard, spoon mustard, broadbeaked mustard or rosette bok choy, is an Asian variety of Brassica rapagrown for greens. This plant has become popular in North American cuisine as well, and is now grown throughout the world. Tatsoi is a small low-growing plant that forms a rosette of petite leaves with short pale lime green stems. Its spoon-shaped, near seaweed green colored leaves are glossy with a buttery, tender and succulent texture. Fresh tatsoi displays sweet and tangy flavors with a mineral finish. Once cooked, it develops a warm earthiness similar to spinach. The plant has dark green spoon-shaped leaves which form a thick rosette. It has a soft creamy texture and has a subtle yet distinctive flavour. It can be grown to harvestable size in 45-50 days, and can withstand temperatures down to -10°C (15°F). Tatsoi can be harvested even from under the snow. Tatsoi is a very versatile green in the kitchen. It can be used with any other green that you might like to make a salad, such as spinach, arugula, watercress, pea tendrils, mizuna or even also be substituted for any recipe calling for spinach. Its tangy and peppery notes pair well with citrus, crisp cool ingredients such as apple, fennel and mint, warm flavors that are abundantly found in chiles, garlic and allspice. Pair tatsoi with ingredients rich in umami such as scallops, mushrooms, seaweed and braised meats. Fermented ingredients such as fish sauce, soy sauce and vinegars are also complimentary matches.
2.9- Species Brassica nigra - Black mustard. Brassica nigra(black mustard) is anannualweedyplant cultivated for its seeds, which are commonly used as aspice. The plant is believed to be native to the southern Mediterraneanregion ofEuropeand possibly South Asia where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. The spice is generally made from ground seeds of the plant, with theseed coatsremoved. The small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark brown to black. They are flavorful, although they have almost no aroma. The seeds are commonly used inIndian cuisine, for example incurry, where it is known asrai. The seeds are usually thrown into hot oil orghee, after which they pop, releasing a characteristic nutty flavor. The seeds have a significant amount of fatty oil. This oil is used often ascooking oilin India. The plant itself can grow from two to eight feet tall, withracemesof small yellow flowers. These flowers are usually up to 1/3" across, with four petals each. The leaves are covered in small hairs; they can wilt on hot days, but recover at night. Since the 1950s, black mustard has become less popular as compared toIndia mustardbecause some cultivars of India mustard have seeds that can be mechanically harvested in a more efficient manner. Despite their similar common names, black mustard andwhite mustard(genusSinapis) are not closely related. Black mustard belongs to the samegenusascabbage. Brassica nigra also resembles Hirschfeldia incana, or hoary mustard, (formerly Brassica geniculata), which is a perennial plant.
2.10- Species Brassica oleracea - kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower… + Overview Brassica oleraceais thespeciesof plant that includes many common foods ascultivars, includingcabbage,broccoli,cauliflower,kale,Brussels sprouts,collard greens,savoy,kohlrabi andChinese kale. In its uncultivated form, it is known aswild cabbage. It is native to coastal southern and westernEurope. Its tolerance ofsalt andlimeand its intolerance of competition from other plants typically restrict its natural occurrence tolimestoneseacliffs, like the chalk cliffs on both sides of theEnglish Channel. WildBrassica oleraceais a tallbiennial plant, forming a stout rosette of largeleavesin the first year, the leaves being fleshier and thicker than those of other species ofBrassica, adaptations to store water and nutrients in its difficult growing environment. In its second year, the stored nutrients are used to produce aflowerspike 1 to 2 metres (3-7 ft) tall bearing numerous yellow flowers. Although it is believed to have been cultivated for several thousand years, its history as a domesticated plant is not clear beforeGreekandRomantimes, when it was a well-established garden vegetable.Theophrastusmentions three kinds ofrhaphanos (ῤάφανος):a curly-leaved, a smooth-leaved, and a wild-type.He reports the antipathy of the cabbage and the grape vine, for the ancients believed cabbages grown near grapes would impart their flavour to the wine.It has been bred into a wide range ofcultivars, includingcabbage,broccoli,cauliflower, and more, some of which are hardly recognisable as being members of the same genus, let alone species. The historical genus ofCrucifera, meaning four-petalled flower, may be the only unifying feature beyond taste. In places such as theChannel IslandsandCanary Islandswhere the frost is minimal and plants are thus freed from seasonality, some cultivars can grow up to three meters tall. These "tree cabbages" yield fresh leaves throughout the year, and harvest does not mean the plant needs to be destroyed as with a normal cabbage. Their woody stalks are sometimes dried and made intowalking sticks. + Cultivar group The cultivars ofB. oleraceaare grouped by developmental form into seven majorcultivar groups, of which the Acephala ("non-heading") group remains most like the naturalWild Cabbagein appearance: 1- Brassica oleracea - Acephala Group:kale andcollard greens. 2- Brassica oleracea - Alboglabra Group: Chinese broccoliorKai-lan/ 3- Brassica oleracea - Botrytis Group: cauliflower,Romanesco broccoliand broccoflower. 4- Brassica oleracea - Capitata Group:cabbage. 5- Brassica oleracea - Gemmifera Group:brussels sprouts. 6- Brassica oleracea - Gongylodes Group:kohlrabi. 7- Brassica oleracea - Italica Group:broccoli.
2.11- Species Brassica perviridis - tender green, mustard spinach KomatsunaorJapanese mustard spinach(Brassica perviridis = Brassica rapavar.perviridis) is aleaf vegetable. It is avarietyofBrassica rapa, the plantspeciesthat yields theturnip,mizuna, napa cabbage, andrapini. It is grown commercially inJapanandTaiwan. The namekomatsunais from the Japanesekomatsuna, "small pine tree greens". It is stir-fried, pickled, boiled, and added to soups or used fresh in salads. It is an excellent source ofcalcium. The leaves ofkomatsunamay be eaten at any stage of their growth. In a mature plant they are dark green with slender light green stalks, around 30 centimeters (12") long and 18 cm (7") wide. It is most often grown in the spring and autumn, as it cannot endure extreme heat or cold for more than a short time. The plant is also used for fodder in some Asian countries.
2.12- Species Brassica rapa(syn B. campestris) - Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, komatsuna. Brassica rapa L. is a plant consisting of various widely cultivated subspecies including the turnip (a root vegetable); the mizuna, napa cabbage, and cime di rapa (leaf vegetables); and the turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, an oilseed which has many common names, including [annual] turnip rape, field mustard, bird rape, keblock, and colza). The oilseed is sometimes also called canola, which is one reason why it is sometimes confused with rapeseed oil, but this comes from a different Brassica species (Brassica napus). The oilseeds known as canola are sometimes particular varieties of Brassica rapa (termed Polish Canola) but usually the related species Brassica napus(rapeseed) and Brassica juncea (mustard greens). In the 18th century the turnip and the oilseed-producing variants were seen as being different species by Carolus Linnaeus who named them B. rapa and B. campestris. 20th-century taxonomists found that the plants were cross fertile and thus belonged to the same species. Since the turnip had been named first by Linnaeus, the nameBrassica rapa was adopted.
2.13- Species Brassica rupestris - brown mustard + Overview Brassica rupestris is a species in the genus Brassica which contains approximately 73 to 132 species and belongs to thefamilyof the Brassicaceae(Mustard Family). Brassica rupestrisis reported by the European Environment Agency (2010) to occur in 31 Natura 2000 sites. Brassica rupestrisssp.hispidais listed as Endangered in Italy (Contiet al. 1997). EURISCO reports 20 germplasm accessions ofBrassica rupestrisheld in European genebanks, 19 of which are reported to be of wild or weedy origin; of the wild accessions, 17 originate from Italy, 15 of which are stored in the genebank of the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain and two of which are stored in the genebank of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Germany (EURISCO Catalogue 2010). + Characteristics - Leaves: Brassica rupestris is deciduous. The leaves are simple. - Flowers and Fruits: Brassica rupestris produces racemes of yellow cruciform flowers. The plants produce siliques. - Cultivation: The plants prefer a sunny situation on moderately moist soil. The substrate should be loamy, sandy-loamy, sandy clay or loamy clay soil.
2.15- Species Brassica tournefortii - Asian mustard The mustard species Brassica tournefortii is known by the common names Asian mustard, African mustard, and Sahara mustard, and is well known as an invasive species, especially in California. The plant is generally similar to other mustards, but the yellow flowers are not as bright and flashy as closely related species. It is a spreading annual herb with long stems up to 40 inches in length. This mustard is native to the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. It became notorious during the twentieth century after it invaded the deserts of the United States and Mexico. Recently it has become an abundant weed of low deserts including theSonoranandMojave Deserts, plus the desert valleys such as theCoachellaandImperial Valleys of southern California.The plant disperses easily at the first hint of rain. When the seed coats are moistened they form a gel and become very sticky and readily adhere to people, animals, and objects. Seeds easily take hold along roadsides and arid desert lands, especially in disturbed habitats. Thick stands of the plant can crowd out native flora. Well-adapted to desert life, it monopolizes any moisture in the soil before other plants can get it and forms seeds before other species do. It produces seed as early in the year as January, especially if the region undergoes a warm spell, which is a common occurrence during southern California winters. It self-fertilizes and drops seeds into the soil, where they persist and survive fires and long periods without rain. The fact that it propagates by leaving large numbers of viable seeds in the soil prevents eradication measures such as pulling, mowing, grazing, and burning. Individual plants have the capacity to separate from the ground and become like tumbleweeds, dropping seeds as they are carried across the desert floor in the breeze.