Cauliflower is an annual or biannual plant, with a main taproot from which a more superficial rooted hair grows. Its stems are thickened, with whole leaves and few petioles, but usually oblong or elliptical. Its stem develops a central growth apex with a hypertrophied and succulent mass of white, green or slightly purple prefloral andemas depending on the variety.
In Spain, the cauliflower crop occupies approximately 7,000 hectares, which produce between 160,000 and 170,000 tons. Its production is distributed mainly in the province of Cádiz, Murcia, La Rioja, Navarra and the Valencian Community.
The crop adapts to soils of medium texture, provided that nitrogen is neither too abundant nor deficient. It is moderately tolerant of acid soils with a pH between 5-5 and 6.8. Cauliflower has, like broccoli, a resistance to moderate soil salinity.
In the case of cauliflower, it is necessary to vernalize the plant at low temperatures to promoteits flowering. In short cycle varieties, flowering can be induced with temperatures equal to or higher than 15ºC. In the long cycle, temperatures of 6 to 10ºC are needed for 10-15 weeks.
Cauliflower is a plant with high water needs, especially from the middle to the end of the crop cycle. In case of water deficits its flowering phase can be affected.
Cauliflower varieties are classified according to the length of their crop cycle. For short cycle (45-90 days after planting) there are varieties Olga, type Alfa, type Earland Snowball, Catalina, Saga F1, Carmina F1, etc. With an intermediate cycle (3-4 months after planting) the varieties Gigante de Italia, Christmas, Pava de Navidad, Stella F1, Tarike F1 and Paradiso F1 among others. And finally, in the cultivars with a very long cycle (from 4 to 6 months) we have the Tardía de Cuaresma, San José Cauliflower, Broccoli Odin, Astral F1 and Vega F1 varieties among many more.