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Brassica oleracea yellow flowers above purple-green leaves
Brassica oleracea
Brassica oleracea

Originating from the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Greece and the Aegean Islands, this species has cultivated varieties extensively grown around the world. It's the wild ancestor to many cool-weather vegetable plants including kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi, commonly referred to as Cole Crops. The health benefits are substantial, attributed to its phytochemicals which assist in preventing oxidative stress, stimulating the immune system, and reducing the risk of cancers by inhibiting malignant transformation and carcinogenic mutations. They also induce detoxification enzymes and reduce the proliferation of cancer cells​. Specifically, kale is recognized for its abundance of bioactive compounds, including phenolics, carotenoids, and glucosinolates​​.  Commercially, the leading producers of cauliflower and broccoli, two of the notable cultivars, are China, India, Spain, and Mexico. Through selective breeding, an array of cultivars has been developed to suit various climates and culinary uses, making it a versatile and globally significant plant species. Photographed in Bogotá, Colombia.

Brassica oleracea yellow flowers in sunlight
Brassica oleracea yellow flowers
Tall green Brassica oleracea flower stems with yellow flowers

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