The most ancient type of broccoli, renowned for hardiness and excellent flavor.
"Broccolini." An abundance of tender shoots in early spring, which can be harvested for a long time. Cut the heads with several inches of stem and accompanying leaves, and cook them all together, whole or chopped. Also used raw in salads and veggie platters, with dip or hummus. Can withstand some frost and prefers cool weather. These are the true broccolis--what most of us know as broccoli is actually called Calabrese in Europe.
There are two types, with very different life cycles. One or the other should do well anywhere:
Overwintering (biennial) Type:
Sprouting broccoli makes huge plants with smallish, purple, very sweet and tender heads all over the plant. It is planted in late summer or early fall, goes through the winter, and is harvested from very early spring til summer. It is ready before annual crops are up, and bears over a very long period. The huge plants are very productive. Where it can be grown, sprouting broccoli is outstanding and choice. If you live where the ground freezes for long periods, it won't survive without protection. Where winter doesn't drop below freezing at all, it won't make heads, just leaves. It is at its best in zones 6-9.
Raab (Quarantina) makes super-quick spring crops. It is planted in very early spring and eaten in mid to late spring. It is very fast-growing and should be harvested right away when ready, before it bolts. Cut fairly low to harvest a bouquet of leaves and tops. Plant in succession for longer harvest.
Piricicaba is like a regular heading broccoli, but with smaller heads all over the plant, which makes it very productive. It is not quite as fast as Quarantina, but goes on and on, even through hot weather. It is also quite cold-hardy and makes a good fall crop.
Brassica oleracea var. italica / C/Matures 8-9+/Harvest 4-12/Yield heads 26-53, leaves 52-106/Spacing 15"