September began with the warmest weather of the year. Such weather is not uncommon for late summer here. It can happen as late as early autumn. Still, it can be disconcerting while weather should be cooling. Cool-season vegetable plants that are technically now seasonable dislike such warmth. Cole vegetables are particularly responsive to weather.

Cole vegetables are within the Cruciferae family, which is alternatively the Brassicaceae family. They, therefore, also classify as crucifers or brassicas. They include various forms of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, turnip, radish, arugula, rutabaga and Brussels sprouts. As variable as they are, several are of the same species.

Broccoli and cauliflower are floral vegetables, since their primary edible parts are bloom. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard, kale, arugula, mustard greens and turnip greens are foliar. Turnip, radish and rutabaga are roots. Kohlrabi is a distended stem. Mustard seed, which is a seasoning instead of a vegetable, is the only common fruiting cole vegetable.

Horticulturist Tony Tomeo can be contacted at tonytomeo.com.

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