Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

April 29, 2006 · Filed Under Featured Plant 

After growing all last summer, then through the winter, these heads of cauliflower appeared the other day:

Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

It’s truly one of the prettiest cole plants I grew this past year.

It looks similar to purple sprouting broccoli, that I have been reading about on several UK blogs, but I am quite certain this is another plant. Among other things this has one large main head, and few if any side shoots.

When cooked it turns green, tastes really nice and is a lot like broccoli.

The plants were really hardy. They survived the winter without problems. While my other cole plants had problems with root maggots, these didn’t seem to. No problems with birds or other animals. I’m sure I picked off a few caterpillars, but nothing unusual.

I planted 4 plants, and got 4 perfect heads of cauliflower. This almost never happens, and was a very pleasant surprise.


18 Responses to “Purple of Sicily Cauliflower”

  1. Hanna in Cleveland, Ohio USA on April 30th, 2006 7:26

    That cauliflower looks cool. Does it stay purple when you cook it?

  2. Patrick on April 30th, 2006 10:04

    Hi Hanna — No, it turns green when cooked. It’s really cauliflower, but it looks and tastes a lot like broccoli after you cook it.

  3. Hanna in Cleveland, Ohio USA on May 1st, 2006 4:52

    I might have to give that a try. Though my kids would like it more if it stayed purple. hehehe

  4. Stuart on May 8th, 2006 20:48

    What a fantastic looking vegetable. That would certainly make any veggie patch look retro. Did you have any other’s growing or is this the only one?

  5. steph on May 9th, 2006 12:33

    Hi Stuart – Patrick’s busy in the garden, so I’m minding the blog. There were four of these. We also had some other cauliflower growing that we harvested last fall, but they were the boring white kind

  6. Patrick on May 11th, 2006 23:36

    Last year we planted about 30 different cole plants, as a trial to see which did well. The Red Rubine sprouts that I posted about earlier and this cauliflower were among those that were the most interesting. Like Steph said there were a few other cauliflowers, but they weren’t that exciting. We got a few pieces of broccoli and some Brussel Sprouts that were nice but not that exciting. The cabbages were mostly a disappointment, except for one small head. Last year just wasn’t a very good year for cole plants for some reason.

  7. Maria on July 20th, 2007 10:00

    Hi Pat and Steph, did it take a long time for the Purple of Sicily Califlower to form heads? I stared mine from seed this spring and the plants are big and healthy but no sign of heads.

  8. Patrick on July 20th, 2007 10:59

    Hi Maria,

    Yes it did! First it grew all summer, then all winter, and the heads formed the following spring.

    We tried growing it a second time, but the winter was too warm. The heads formed mid winter, and weren’t nice.

    I haven’t tried fall planting, but I think that might be the next logical thing to try.

    Vermont! Can you overwinter cole plants there?

  9. Maria on July 20th, 2007 12:31

    I’m not sure?? We can overwinter carrots and parsnips but we get a lot of snow and the temps can go down as low as -25 F. Brrrr

  10. Becky on March 28th, 2008 14:22

    I read that if you steam this sort of cauliflower rather than boil it, it keeps its purple colour.

  11. Patrick on March 29th, 2008 7:14

    Hi Becky,

    Thanks for the comment and for stopping by!

    Alas, no, we tried that too. Even with very light steaming, it turned green. A little purplish, but still mostly green.

  12. Alan on August 31st, 2008 3:51

    HI. I had purple cauli grow.. I planted it last year – in the summer months and it grwe but never flowered – I was close to pulling it out but left it. I went to my veggie patch this morning to find a cauli looking exactly like your picture. It has just gone through a very wet 4 months in NZ and low temperatures of about 10 degrees . We are cooking it up for dinner today!

  13. bayu on December 21st, 2011 21:48

    please give some cauliflower seeds for free
    please ….
    I am in Indonesia
    I let you know via email

  14. Patrick on December 23rd, 2011 19:33

    Hi bayu,

    I don’t have any of these seeds any more. It was 6 years ago that I last grew it. I’ll ask and see if I can find anyone else who has some seeds.

  15. Purple of Sicily Cauliflower | Bifurcated Carrots on December 23rd, 2011 19:42

    […] first wrote about this cauliflower 6 years ago.  Bayu who lives in Indonesia left a comment asking if I had any spare seeds I would send for […]

  16. bayu on December 25th, 2011 21:25

    for patrick
    thank you …. :)
    This looks like the greatest gift this year

  17. Jennifer on April 12th, 2013 22:40

    Was wondering if you had to blanch this variety?

  18. Patrick on April 13th, 2013 13:33

    Hi Jennifer,

    There are two kinds of blanching. The first is protecting the plants from the sun to reduce bitterness. The other is to submerge in boiling water. I’m not completely sure which you mean.

    In any case, I didn’t cover the plant in any way while it was growing.

    Even though this plant is called cauliflower, it’s really very similar to broccoli, and in this sense it’s not very nice raw. I think it’s best cooked somehow, blanched in water if you like. When it’s cooked, it turns green, similar to broccoli.

    Does this answer your question?


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