Cruciferous Vegetables

Lou

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Today I learned that kale and collard greens, Chinese broccoli, red and green cabbages, savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all the same species.

Not that long ago we had a great discussion on Artifical Selection as opposed to Genetically Modified. (See link at the bottom.) And it never ceases to amaze me how effective artificial selection can be. Or how long it has been taking place. Sure the Apple story is awesome. but just think of how we turned one wolf-like dog into everything from poodles to pit bulls.

But today I learned that kale and collard greens, Chinese broccoli, red and green cabbages, savoy cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all the same plant. Not only are they all descendants of the same plant, Brassica oleracea, a weedy little herb, but just like dogs, they are also interfertile, capable of mating with one another and producing fertile offspring.

For the whole story, you can check out this article.

and this one is illustrated
 
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mavrick45

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if you think that's cool you should also check out the history of the evolution of corn

very fascinating stuff
 

Lou

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if you think that's cool you should also check out the history of the evolution of corn

very fascinating stuff
Oh, Yeah. I actually know a lot about corn. Michael Pollard's The Omnivore Dilemma - there are a couple of chapters all about corn. I think I brought it up here a while back.

Corn is not a GMO either. Although the modern species are almost all hybrids now. Another amazing success story is the dwarf wheat plant.

But corn is corn. Wheat is wheat. but who knew that kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all the same species?
 

TofuRobot

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But corn is corn. Wheat is wheat. but who knew that kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all the same species?
I kind of did... they are always mentioned together as all being cruciferous vegetables, but that's about it
 

Lou

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I think I may have been taught this in Botany 201, Taxonomy. It seems like a cool thing to bring up. But if so it was forgotten too long ago to even sound familiar.

I also got a kick out of the blogger's experience with the cabbage butterfly's caterpillars.
 

Elminster

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Oh, Yeah. I actually know a lot about corn. Michael Pollard's The Omnivore Dilemma - there are a couple of chapters all about corn. I think I brought it up here a while back.

Corn is not a GMO either. Although the modern species are almost all hybrids now. Another amazing success story is the dwarf wheat plant.

But corn is corn. Wheat is wheat. but who knew that kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all the same species?
I think it’s more accurate to say they all belong to the same family - they aren’t exactly the same species or they’d be the exact same plant!
 

Lou

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@Elminster.
No. They are all the same species.

Now, Cavendish bananas are all the same plant because they are cloned.
Being in the same family is not very amazing. The Rosaceae family inlcudes over 4000 species. Many of the fruits we eat are in that family. Including apples, pears, quinces, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, raspberries, loquats, and strawberries.
 
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Lou

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@Elminster,
The Business Insider article used the word "plant" in their headline. which could have caused some confusion. (I just noticed that). They should have used the word species. but probably didn't want their article to sound too nerdy.
 
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