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Fractal Broccoli.jpg
Romanesco, showing its self-similar form
Species Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group Botrytis cultivar group

Romanesco, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli, is an edible flower bud of the species Brassica oleracea. First documented in Italy, it is light green in color. Romanesco has a striking appearance because its form is a natural approximation of a fractal. When compared to a traditional cauliflower, as a vegetable its texture is far more crunchy, and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.


Romanesco was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco). It is sometimes called broccoflower, but that name has also been applied to green cauliflower cultivars.


The Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it has a visually striking fractal form.

Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it is light green in colour, and its form is strikingly fractal in nature. The inflorescence (the bud) is self-similar in character, with the branched meristems making up a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the bud's form approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.[1]

As a vegetable Romanesco is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and carotenoids.

The causes of its differences in appearance from the normal cauliflower and broccoli have been modeled as an extension of the preinfloresence stage of bud growth, but the genetic basis of this is not known.[2]


  1. ^ "Fibonacci Numbers and Nature". 
  2. ^ 'Explaining curd and spear geometry in broccoli, cauliflower and `romanesco': quantitative variation in activity of primary meristems. M. Kieffer, M. P. Fuller, and A. J. Jellings, Planta (July 1998), Volume 206, Issue 1, pp 34-43

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanesco_broccoli — Please support Wikipedia.
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5 news items

The Independent

The Independent
Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:03:07 -0700

You quite often see Romanesco broccoli in good greengrocers and supermarkets these days. It is easy to spot because its pointed florets give it a space-age look. If you can't find it, you can always use sprouting broccoli or a mixture of other types of ...

Green Prophet

Green Prophet
Tue, 25 Mar 2014 08:35:49 -0700

romanesco broccoli It looks like aliens took over the broccoli patch, doesn't it? Romanesco broccoli is a unique vegetable that looks like a cauliflower gone crazy but has an intense broccoli flavor. It was first grown in Italy and is now available in ...
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:45:22 -0700

Romanesco broccoli's fractal-like buds look like they grew on an alien planet, but the fiber-rich plant is actually a type of cauliflower. When cooked it takes on a similarly sweet note, but it has a creamier, denser texture that holds up well to a ...
Kearney Hub
Sun, 06 Apr 2014 05:33:45 -0700

Romanesco broccoli could be just one of those wild, unique vegetables to grow. My plans are to give it a try. Yard and Garden is provided by University of Nebraska Extension — Buffalo County. It is written by horticulture aide Ted Griess of Minden ...

D Magazine

D Magazine
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:30:00 -0700

It also works with a truffle bonbon (a blend of truffle foam, truffle salt, and freshly shaved black truffle) eaten out of your hand, grilled scallop with Romanesco broccoli and truffle, and a rich truffle-topped poached egg on potato. And these were ...

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