They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but have you ever looked at a cabbage and thought: now that’s a fine-looking example of nature at its most beautiful? Ever looked at a cauliflower and thought: there’s a certain delicate yet earthy elegance to its appearance?

Probably not. Except, actually, you might have. You see both are types of brassica, which is the name used more commonly went talking about flowering varieties (for obvious reasons – who’s gonna buy a bunch of cabbage flowers?). They’re a pretty bolshie choice for an arrangement but if you have the sort of sophisticated taste that we do then the hues of creamy whites, greens and violet are really something. Added bonus that even as ‘cut’ flowers they last for bloody ages.

Brassica does literally mean cabbage though, in Latin – it was the name given by Pliny the Elder, who regular readers of FOTW (there must be some) will no doubt be aware of. Pliny was a pretty impressive guy, finding the time to give names to cabbage-looking plants (amongst others, while also being an author, natural philosopher, advisor to an emperor and naval/army commander. In fact, it even took the infamous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius (AD79) to finally bring his rich life to an end, having taken a boat out to rescue some folk and getting caught up in the falling debris and airborne poisonous gases. What a guy. And you’re mainly gonna remember him for naming some cabbages.

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