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

Romanesco broccoli, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or simply as Romanesco, 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, its texture as a vegetable is far more crunchy, and its flavour is not as assertive, being delicate and nutty.


Romanesco was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco, that is, "from Rome"). 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. ^ Ron Knott (30 October 2010). "Fibonacci Numbers and Nature". Ron Knott's Web Pages on Mathematics. Archived from the original on 10 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Martin Kieffer; Michael P. Fuller; Anita J. Jellings (July 1998). "Explaining Curd and Spear Geometry in Broccoli, Cauliflower and 'Romanesco': Quantitative Variation in Activity of Primary Meristems". Planta 206 (1): 34–43. doi:10.1007/s004250050371. 

External links[edit]

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

Modern Farmer

Modern Farmer
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:43:18 -0800

Did you notice the chartreuse, psychedelic spines of Romanesco broccoli during its very short season at the farmers market? If you looked closely, you would have seen just how remarkable this vegetable really is. Like a snowflake, this broccoli ...
The Upcoming (registration)
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:56:15 -0800

The healthy heroes of perfect skin that don't cost you a fortune or take an age to apply; superfoods really are as super as their name suggests. Eating or drinking them gives your body and skin the nourishment that they have been lacking. Here are some ...

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 ...

NPR (blog)

NPR (blog)
Mon, 23 Jun 2014 13:35:25 -0700

It can be a bitter pill to swallow when science proves your mother was right. And that seems to be happening again and again when it comes to brassica. Even if you're not familiar with the term, you've undoubtedly swallowed the concept. Brassica is the ...

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 ...
LA Weekly (blog)
Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:35:46 -0800

They're a great intro to physics, and if you really want to send the kids down the science rabbit hole, tell them the number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number. Won't help them eat better, but they'll never look at their ...
The Seattle Times
Tue, 18 Sep 2012 12:40:36 -0700

Romanesco broccoli, a hybrid vegetable that dates back to the 16th century, has distinctive · Enlarge this photo. QUENTIN BACON. Romanesco broccoli, a hybrid vegetable that dates back to the 16th century, has distinctive pointy, green florets.
LA Weekly (blog)
Thu, 03 Feb 2011 10:34:57 -0800

Molecular gastronomists take pains to showcase the science of food, cleverly manipulating the laws of nature to aid their efforts (hydrocolloids, anyone?). But the logarithmic spirals of the Romanesco broccoli are nature's own bit of scientific ...

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