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Definition of BROCCOLI
chiefly British: a large hardy cauliflower
a: either of two garden vegetable plants closely related to the cabbage: (1): one with a thick central stem and a compact head of dense usually green florets that is classified with the cauliflower (2): one (Brassica oleracea italica) with slender stems and usually green or purple florets not arranged in a central head
b: the stems and immature florets of broccoli used as food
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea, variety italica).—G.R. Roberts
Plant (Brassica oleracea, variety italica), form of cabbage of the mustard family. A fast-growing, upright, branched, annual plant, it bears dense green clusters of edible flower buds. Native to the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor, it was introduced to the U.S. probably in colonial times. Broccoli thrives in moderate to cool climates. Its flavour resembles that of cabbage but is somewhat milder. It is one of the most broadly nutritious of all common vegetables.