Nature’s Fractals

This winter’s garden includes broccoli, lime-colored cauliflower, onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, arugula, bok choy, tatsoi, mustard greens, spinach, fava beans, and probably a few more I’ve forgotten.

But, by far, the winner of the visual stunner award is the Romanesco (aka “fractal broccoli”).

A perfect baby specimen looks like this:


And, a less perfect, more adult specimen that literally spiraled out of control, looks like this:


There is math in nature. Make no mistake about it.

And. Bonus. It’s delicious.

  1. Bao K. Chang 2010.07.19 8:37pm

    Hello there these are some beautiful Romanesco broccoli I was wondering where can I find the seed to plant it.

    Thank You,
    Bao K Chang

  2. Tennille 2010.07.20 5:46pm

    @Bao K. Chang:


    I obtained the seeds for these from a winter gardening class taught by Cynthia of the Love Apple Farm in the fall of 2009.

    However, this year, I’ll probably grow them from seeds I order from The Seed Savers Exchange.

    It looks like Park Seed and Local Harvest also sell them.

    Good luck!

  3. Maria 2011.04.19 11:40am

    What is the difference between fractal broccoli and ordinary broccoli?


    • Tennille 2011.06.07 10:10am

      Hi Maria:

      Fractal Broccoli is a variety that grows in fractals instead of the traditional floret pattern.