Brassica oleracea or B. oleracea var. cabbage capita, variety tuba, variety var or sabauda acephala) is a member of the mustard family Brassicaceae and the genus Brassica. B. oleracea cultivars include broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and sprouting broccoli, among other cruciferous vegetables (also known as cole crops).
These created from the wild cabbage B. oleracea var. oleracea, also known as field cabbage or colewort. This original species evolved over thousands of years into the species we see today as a result of selection resulting in cultivars with distinct characteristics, such as thick stems with flower buds for broccoli, large heads for cabbage, and large leaves for kale.
The Latin word for “having a head” is the origin of the varietal name capitata.
In the past, the term “cabbage” was used to refer to a variety of B. oleracea species, including those with heads that were either missing or loose. Brassica rapa, a species that is related to it and often referred to as Chinese, napa, or celery cabbage, has many of the same uses. It is also used as a common name for several species that are not related. These include the cabbage tree, also known as cabbage bark, which belongs to the genus Andira, and the cabbage palms, which come from a number of different palm genera and include Mauritia, Roystonea oleracea, Acrocomia, and Euterpe oenocarpus, among others.