Identifying Different Varieties of Cauliflower

If you find white cauliflower to be too bland for your taste, consider one of the colorful and flavorful cauliflowers from around the world. Here are tips on how to identify different cauliflower varieties, by color and growing area.

Italian Cauliflower

All modern cauliflower types came from those first grown in Italy. White cauliflower, Romanesco, purple, yellow and green cauliflower are Italian varieties available today.

Asian Cauliflower

Bred from the now-extinct Cornish variety in the 19th Century, Asian cauliflowers such as Old Benares grow in China and India. Their colors range from pale yellow to white.

Northern Europe Annual Cauliflower

This was the type brought to North America in the 19th Century for cultivation, with its white, large head and deep green leaves. Plant them in late spring and harvest in the summer and fall.

Orange Cauliflower

Discovered growing wild in Canada, the orange cauliflower is a mutant species found in Toronto's Bradford Marsh in 1970. British researchers successfully hybridized it with a stronger white cauliflower variety to enlarge it and improve its flavor. Along with a richer taste, orange cauliflower has 25 times the Vitamin A content of older cauliflower types. Seeds for the orange cauliflower have been available since 2004.