Broccoli, broccoli or broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica), from the Latin brachium (arm) is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, formerly called Cruciferae. Other species of this family are cabbage (B. o. viridis), cauliflower (B. o. botrytis), kohlrabi (B. o. caulorapa) and Brussels sprouts (B. o. gemmifera). The so-called Chinese broccoli (B. o. alboglabra) is also a variety of Brassica oleracea.  Characteristics This plant possesses abundant fleshy flower heads green, arranged in a tree, on branches arising from a thick stem edible. The great mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. It is much like its close relative cauliflower, but it is green.