Broccoli (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis Group) is an annual or biennial vegetable belonging to the Cruciferae family. The species is native to the Mediterranean region. In Europe the term "broccoli" is used for the cold-tolerant overwintering cauliflower and what is known in North America as broccoli is often called "calabrese."
Broccoli is cultivated for its tightly packed flowering head and upper stalks, which are consumed when the flowers are in bud. It is becoming an increasingly important vegetable crop in Canada, but it does not perform well if temperatures are excessively high.
Traditional cultivars are harvested July-September; European and Japanese cultivars selected in BC have extended the season from June to the first heavy frost. Broccoli is grown for both the fresh and processing markets. In Canada, broccoli is mostly produced in Québec, Ontario and BC. It is cultivated on more than 4500 ha across the country, producing around 43 000 tonnes worth more than $35 million.