20 Fun Facts about Broccoli

Amy Beney MS RD

Update March 7, 2024

(Certified broccoli lover and mom of 1 broccoli lover and 1 broccoli hater)

Broccoli is one of the most well-known vegetables.  It seems you love it or hate it.  Despite otherwise strong opinion on this nutritious and delicious vegetable, there are many interesting facts about broccoli.

Here’s list of fun facts about broccoli for kids (and adults too.)

1. There is a good chance you will eat a pound or 2 this year, the average American eats almost 6 pounds per year!

2. Broccoli is a vegetable and is a member of the cabbage family (family Brassicaceae, genus Brassica).

3. There are 27 different types of broccoli!

4. Broccoli is not just green there is also white broccoli and purple broccoli.

5. Broccoli is a large edible flower. If the broccoli plant were left in the ground, the floret would continue to mature and become a beautiful head of yellow flowers before developing into seeds.

6. Broccoli leaves are edible. They can be eaten raw or heated to make them sweeter.

7. Are broccoli flowers edible? Yes, broccoli flowers are edible. You can eat the whole part of the broccoli. Stalk to flower.

8. It can take anywhere from 70 to 140 days to mature after planting.

9. The United States ranks 3rd in the world for production of broccoli. China is ranked 1st and India ranks 2nd.

10. China produces an estimated 11 million tons of broccoli

11. Over the last 25 years, the consumption of broccoli has increased over 940%.

12. In the United States, the average annual per capita consumption is 5.8 pounds

13. According to the Guinness World Records, the heaviest broccoli on record weighed 35 pounds. This record was set by John and Mary Evans in 1993 in the United States of America.

14. There is no machine to harvest the vegetable so it must be hand harvested. A knife is commonly used to cut the stem when harvesting.

15. There are three types of broccoli commonly grown for consumption, they are Calabrese broccoli, sprouting broccoli and purple cauliflower.

16. Broccoli is good for you because it has many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium.

17. 1 cup of broccoli has almost as vitamin c (81mg) as 1 cup of oranges (95mg) but half the calories.

18. It also has more protein than most other vegetables. One cup of chopped broccoli contains 3 grams of protein.

19. Estimates claim that around 90% of the 1.4 million tons of the broccoli and cauliflower produced in the United States comes from California.

20. Thomas Jefferson wrote about growing broccoli and its close relative, cauliflower, in 1767. He may have been the first American to have ever grown broccoli on American soil. Broccoli did not become a staple in the American diet until the 1920’s