Cauliflower is well-named because it really is a flower. The part that we eat consists of a cluster of flower heads. If left alone, these flowers would eventually develop seeds. The flower heads grow out of a cabbage-like plant.

Cauliflowers belong to the brassica family and they’re related to broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Cauliflower is a little harder to grow than some other vegetables. It’s prone to insect infestations and it’s picky about temperatures – neither too hot, nor too cold.


Fun Facts

  • Pliny the Elder, a Roman writer and naturalist, first described cauliflower in the first century A.D.
  • Cauliflower is considered a “super food.” Scientists believe it has compounds that can prevent or fight cancer, improve heart health, fight off infection, and even maintain brain function. In other words, eating cauliflower just might make you healthier and smarter!
  • Before farmers harvest cauliflower, they blanch it by covering the head with leaves as it matures. If the cauliflower isn’t blanched, the heads become yellow or green. These cauliflowers are still good, but most people prefer white cauliflower. Purple varieties don’t need to be blanched.
  • Cauliflower can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, boiled or grilled. Eating it raw can cause indigestion in some people.
  • King Louis XIV loved cauliflower and demanded it be served at all state dinners.
  • The flower heads are sometimes called curds.



  1. Naturalist: someone who is interested in nature and conservation
  2. Compound: a mixture of two or more chemicals
  3. Blanch: to cover the cauliflower head with leaves
  4. Indigestion: an upset stomach


Questions and Answers

Question: What are the brown spots on cauliflower?

Answer: You might think those brown spots are mold, but they’re actually a sign of a soil deficiency while the plant was growing. Don’t worry – they won’t hurt you or affect the flavor.


Learn More

Watch a fascinating video about cauliflower farming and harvesting.

Try a delicious recipe for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.