cauliflower

Cauliflower was introduced in India in 1822 from England by Dr. Jemson, Incharge , Company Bagh, Saharanpur
(Uttar Pradesh). The name of cauliflower has originated from the Latin words ‘Caulis’ and ‘Floris’ which means
stem and flower, respectively. Cauliflower is thought to be domesticated in the Mediterranean region. According
to Boswell (1949), it originated in the island of Cyprus from where it moved to other areas like Syria, Turkey,
Egypt, Italy, Spain and north western Europe. In the middle of the 16th century,the first illustration and description
of cauliflower was presented by the herbalist Dodoens (1544).
Area and Production
India is the largest producer of cauliflower in the world. The major cauliflower producing states are West Bengal
(26%), Bihar (17%), Madhya Pradesh (10%), Orissa (10%), Gujarat (8%), Haryana (7%), Assam (6%) and
Maharashtra (3%). According to FAO and Indian Horticulture Database 2013, total area 1226455 ha, production

22153522 MT and productivity 18.1 MT/ha of cauliflower in the world. The total area of cauliflower in India is
402,000 ha, production 7887,000 MT and productivity 19.6MT/ha. In Uttarakhand total area of cauliflower 2.76
‘000 ha and production is 36.72 ‘000MT.

Importance and Uses
There is hardly any house where it is not regularly used as vegetable. With the development of tropical types in
cauliflower in addition to temperate types, it has now become possible to grow this vegetable almost throughout
the year particularly in the Northern and central part of India. Cauliflower growers may be benefited by growing
this crop to a great extent near large cities or by sending the produce to distant places where they can fetch better
price.
It is generally used as cooked vegetable either singly or mixed with potato as fried or in curry form. Small pieces
of cauliflower can be fried with besan for the preparation of pakoras. Grated cauliflower is used to prepare
stuffed parathas.cit is also used in preparation of pickle with other vegetables.

Botany
Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards. Surrounding
the curd are ribbed, coarse green leaves that protect it from sunlight, impeding the development of chlorophyll.
The flowers are attached to a central stalk. Seeds are head shaped. The head of a cauliflower, also called a “curd,”
is a group of tightly packed flower buds that have not fully developed. The buds are attached to fleshy stalks
where most of the nutrients for their growth are stored. The taxonomical position of cauliflower is as follows:

The family cruciferae is characterized by 4 petals, standing opposite to each other in square cross, 6 stamens of
which 2 are short and 4 long and a special kind of pod called siliqua. Cauliflower is a monogenomic species
whose genomic constitution is C and chromosome number is 2n=18.
Major Varieties
Cauliflower is a thermo-sensitive crop. Varieties differ in their temperature requirement for curd initiation and
development.Theyhave beenclassified into different maturity groups according to theirtemperature requirement.

Early varieties
Early Kunwari
Recommended for Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi. Very early variety. Curds hemispherical with even surface,ready
for harvesting from mid September to mid October. Average yield is 8 t/ha.
Pusa early Synthetic
Main season variety.Curds somewhat creamy white to white and compact.Ready for harvestfrom mid December
to mid January. Average yield is 11 t/ha.
Pant Gobhi-3
Early maturing variety. Curds medium sized and solid white. Curds ready for harvest from October. Average
yield is 10 t/ha.
Pusa Deepali
Developed at IARI, New Delhi. Recommended for Northern India particularly Delhi and Punjab. Early maturing
variety, curds compact, self-blanching, white, medium sized and almost free from riceyness. Curds ready for
harvest in late October. Average yield is 12 t/ha.
Pant Gobhi-2
Early maturing variety.Curds compact, composite and creamy white. Curds ready for harvesting from November
to December. Average yield is 12 t/ha.

Mid-early varieties
Improved Japanese
An introduction from Israel. Plants erect, leaves bluish green, curds compact and white. Yield potential is 20t/ha.
Pusa Hybrid 2
First F1 hybrid released by public sector organization. Plants semi-erect with bluish green leaves, resistant to
downy mildew. Curds are creamy white, very compact, yielding 23 t/ha.
Pusa Sharad
A variety released by IARI. Foliage bluish green, leaf with narrow apex and prominent mid-rib. Semi-dome
shaped white and very compact curd. Average yield 24t/ha.
Pant Gobhi-4
A variety for November maturity. It has medium long stem, semi-erect leaves, hemispherical creamy white,
medium compact, non-ricey curds. Average yield 14t/ha.
Mid-late varieties
Pusa Synthetic
A synthetic variety, plants erect, frame narrow to medium, curds creamy white and compact. The yield potential
is 27t/ha.
Pant Shubhra
Recommended for cultivation in Northern India. Early growing variety. Curds are compact, slightly conical and
creamish white. Ready for harvest in November. Average yield is 20 t/ha.
Pusa Shubhra
Plants tall, long stalk, leaves light bluish green twisting backwards from the middle. Curds medium,flat, compact
and white. Field resistant to black rot and curd blight.
Pusa Himjyoti
Erect bluish green leaves with waxy coating, curds retentive white, self blanched, solid and 500-600gm in
weight.this is only the variety which can be grown from April-July in the hills.
Punjab Jiant 35
Main season variety.Curds white, compact medium sized.Ready for harvesting from mid Novemberto December.
Average yield is 17 t/ha.
Late varieties
Pusa Snowball
Idealfor cooler climatesofNorthIndianstates.Latematuringvariety.Curdsmediumsized, solid,havingattractive
white colour. Ready for harvesting from January to March. Average yield is 25-30 t/ha.
Pusa Snowball K 1
Late maturing variety. Curds very compact, medium in size and snow white in colour. Ready for harvesting from
January to April. Average yield is 25-30 t/ha. Susceptible to black rot.
Ooty 1
Suitable for growing in hilly regions of Tamil Nadu above 1,800MSL. It has a potential yield of 46t/ha in 110-120
days.

Soil
Cultivation of cauliflower is done mainly on sandy to heavy soils rich in organic matter. Early crops prefer light
soil while late crops thrive better on heavier soils due to retention of moisture. On heavy soils, plants grow more
slowly and the keeping quality is improved. A pH range of 5.5-6.5 is considered as optimum for growing
cauliflower. Plants growing in saline soils are prone to diseases.
Climate
Cauliflower is a thermo-sensitive crop. In India, cauliflower is grown in large areas having a cool and moist
climate. The cauliflower varieties are very sensitive to temperature. High temperature during maturity willresult
in yellowish leafy curds. It is therefore essential to choose proper variety to be sown at proper time. The Brassica
family is quite cold resistant, making them well adapted to cool season production. With most Cole crops, a cold
period is necessary for flowering. However, each crop has its own temperature tolerance. For good seed
germination, a temperature of 10-21°C is required. A temperature range of 15-21°C is considered as optimum for
growth and curd formation of the crop. Temperature below 10°C during growth delays maturity and undersized
small unmarketable buttons are formed.
High temperatures during cauliflower production delay maturity and increase vegetal growth and cool
temperatures hasten maturity and may induce ‘bolting’. Bolting is the premature formation of seed stalks.
Fluctuating temperatures may induce some cauliflower cultivars which have started heading, to revert to the
vegetative phase, which results in poor-quality curds.
Seed Treatment
Today seed companies are pelletizing cauliflower seeds. Pelleted coatings broaden the temperature range in
which the seeds will germinate. Pelleted seed is a mix of powders placed around the seed to form a ball. This
makes the seed more uniform in size, weight and shape, allowing for easier handling at planting time.
Preparation of Field
The soil should be well prepared and brought to a fine tilth. The manure and fertilizer should be applied as a
basal dose while preparing the field. Drainage is a problem for early and mid-early crop in north India and
sometimes in the mid season crop when the monsoon prolongs, beds should be prepared after the last ploughing
and following fertilizer application as basal dose. The beds should be so prepared that the excessive water drains
out rapidly without causing soil erosion.
Seed Rate and Sowing
The cauliflower crop is grown from seedlings raised in nursery beds. For early crop 500-600gm seeds are required
to plant one hectare area while for mid and late crops, about 350-400gm seeds are sufficient. Seeds are sown on
raised nursery beds. The conditions for nursery raising of early crop are not very optimum since the period has
high temperature, low humidity with dry hot winds. For such situations it has been suggested that the beds
should be made cool by providing sufficient moisture in the beds and by covering them during hotter period of
the day. The nursery beds should be narrow and about 30cm wide so that through the channels, the water can go
to the whole bed through percolation.
Sowing Time
The time of seed sowing will depend on the variety, season and location. The early varieties are sown in mayJune, and first fortnight of July, mid-season in July-august, mid-late in September and late varieties in October.
Transplanting
The seedlings are transplanted in the field after 30-40 days of sowing. The distance of planting is 60 × 30 cm for
early varieties and 60 × 45 cm for mid season and late maturing varieties. The seedlings are transplanted in flat
beds or on ridges. During rainy season planting on ridges is preferred.