Carew, H. John Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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A cool-season biennial crucifer, Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes (alternatively B. oleracea var. caulorapa or B. caulorapa), of northern European origin belonging to the plant order Capparales (Brassicales). Kohlrabi (see illustration) is grown for its turnip-like enlarged stem, which is usually eaten as a cooked vegetable. Kohlrabi is a German word meaning cabbage-turnip, which reflects a similarity in taste and appearance to these two vegetables. Cultural practices for kohlrabi are similar to those used for turnips. White Vienna and Purple Vienna are popular varieties (cultivars). Harvesting, when the enlarged stems are 5–8 cm (2–3 in.) in diameter, is usually 2 months after planting. Kohlrabi is a common cooked vegetable in Europe, especially in Germany; it is of minor importance in the United States. See also: Cabbage; Capparales; Horticultural crops; Kale; Turnip
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