Brassica oleracea var. capitata is a vegetable grown in Europe for millennia; it seems it was cultivated and consumed already at the time of the ancient Romans; there are three main groups, the white cabbage, the purple cabbage and the savoy cabbage; it is the same plant, dozens of cultivars are available in each group, different in terms of ripening time, season of development, shape and size of the cap. These are annual plants, which develop a dense flower head, consisting of large round leaves, the flower head is so narrow and compact that in the center a large round "head" is formed, the size of which varies from 10-15 cm in diameter up to at 70-80 cm in diameter in the giant varieties. The leaves of Brassica oleracea var. capitata are eaten raw or cooked, are used to prepare sauerkraut, cooking the leaves in water and vinegar, to be able to keep them for a long time.
The specimens of Brassica oleracea var. capitata reach maturity in about 60-120 days from sowing; there are spring, autumn and summer sowing varieties; in general the best development occurs in a cool climate, therefore in Italy we tend to plant young seedlings in the garden in autumn or late winter, for a winter or late spring harvest. The young plants can also be obtained from the seeds of the specimens of the previous year: keeping a cabbage plant on the ground, this will produce thin erect stems that carry numerous small yellow flowers, followed by the pods of the seeds. Since cabbage has been cultivated for millennia in our gardens, we always plant cultivars, for this reason the plants obtained from seed are not always identical to the mother plant; for this reason we prefer to buy the young plants already developed, or even the seeds, already selected.