grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Romanesco Broccoli, Not Your Average Ornamental Vegetable

2008_0803image0070 This is my Romanesco Broccoli plant that I started from seed indoors.  These seeds, along with the Lemon Cucumber, were sent free with my order from Baker Creek seed company.

As you can see, this thing is enormous.  It has never produced a single head of broccoli, probably because I planted it at the wrong time (as usual).  And, even though it is hogging nearly an entire 4x4 bed (I only have 2 beds, by the way) I can't bring myself to pull it out. 

I'm so in love with the big beautiful blue metallic looking leaves. 

I figure that, at some point this thing will either start producing broccoli, go to seed, or become a tree.  I'll be the only person on the planet with a broccoli tree!

Do you have something growing in your garden that makes absolutely no sense other than you like the way it looks?


  1. Gina, I'm with you ... love the color of those leaves! Even if it never produces for you, it's earned its keep.

  2. Aren't they amazing, almost prehistoruc looking? I have had problems with broccoli heading before, it makes you crazy. Try eating the leaves. I have used them like chard before. I think they are best in soups or cooked in a flavorful broth and eaten like spinach. I slice them up a bit , into strips then cook. Yummy!

  3. If you love it, then keep it! I like squash, but I LOVE the way the plants look with those big beautiful leaves. So I plant lots of squash.

    And do I have something out of control? Oh, yeah. Some climbing black-eyed susans have run amok and are climbing over some elephant ears and a joe-pye weed. Can't bring myself to start ripping them out though.

    Gardening Examiner

  4. I'd grow that thing for the foliage alone! It's gorgeous, what Gertrude Jeckyll would have described as "glaucous." My Japanese Anemones are getting out of hand, but I'm going to make a stab at restraining them next spring.

  5. I have a couple things...things that need to be pruned several times a year so they don't take over...banksia rose, wisteria, solanum...but I do just love them so they're worth the work!

  6. Heather's GardenAugust 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM

    Totally thought you were playing with the color on your photos again. No matter how pretty it is it wouldn't last long in my garden if it wasn't producing!

  7. Don't touch it, Gina - it WILL produce heads. Romanesco broccoli is an autumn-cropping vegetable. Here in the UK, it usually produces heads from late Sept to early Nov. Just pick them quick before the slugs/pigeons get 'em!

  8. cindy - thanks for the encouragement!

    lori - they are very prehistoric looking! I like your idea of eating the leaves. It's something I had been wondering about.

    robin - Amen, Sister!

    MMD - I'm with you.

    Leslie - thanks for stopping by.

    Heather - want me to send you some seeds so you can see the blue metallic leaves for yourself?

    soilman - this thing has been in the ground since early spring. do you think it'll still produce this fall? that would be really awesome!

  9. I felt like you that the leaves were so pretty I didn't care if it grew heads, in fact I gave up. Then, one day I was meandering along the garden path and there was this incredible chartreuse turban hiding under the leaves! I never ate it. I took it home and photographed it to death.

  10. My romanesco broccoli didn't bear a single fruit either. Your romanesco looked a heck of a lot better than mine did (trees)!

    This year I am trying out the calabrese broccoli and keeping my fingers crossed.

    Good luck with your broccoli! Maybe we'll both get to actually eat some this year. :)