Brussels sprouts

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Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts , Brussels cabbage , in Austria also sprouts and cabbage sprouts as well as Latin Brassica oleracea var. Gemmifera (also called " Brussels sprouts ") is a vegetable and a variety of vegetable cabbage from the cruciferous plant family . On a tall stalk (50 to 70 cm), buds (rose petals ) are formed in a spiral, ascending, dense arrangement , which are at least in the upper area in the leaf axils .

The cut florets, which have a green-white color and a diameter of 10 to about 50 mm, are marketed under the name “Brussels sprouts” (in Austria “cabbage sprouts”, otherwise also “Sprossenkohl”).

Brussels sprouts are biennial . If the florets are not harvested, they will sprout into sprouts after overwintering in spring, which will produce flowers in summer.


The first evidence of the cultivation of Brussels sprouts is dated to 1587 in what was then the Spanish Netherlands , now Belgium . The French name is Choux de Bruxelles , the English Brussels sprouts . In the German-speaking world it was known as "Brussels sprouts" or "Brussels cabbage". In the early 19th century, Brussels sprouts became popular as a winter vegetable across Europe and spread throughout the United States. Today Brussels sprouts are mainly grown in the Netherlands , France and the United Kingdom .


Brussels sprouts in the field


Sunny. The Brussels sprouts, which eat heavily, prefer a very nutrient-rich and sandy loam soil .

Good neighbors are potatoes , spinach , garden lettuce , peas , real celery and beetroot . Other cruciferous vegetables are bad ones .


In order to increase the yield of Brussels sprouts, CMS varieties (F1 hybrids) are mostly grown today . The early varieties that have proven themselves include: Hossa , Predora and Wilhelmsburger . As late varieties: Boxer , Zitadell , Fortress , Harald , Ideal and Igor .


Depending on the variety, Brussels sprouts are sown thinly in a seed bed in the field or in a cold frame from April to May. The transplant is then carried out from mid-May to the end of June. If you plant too early, no firm florets will form, if you plant too late the florets will remain quite small. The plant spacing is between 60 × 40 and 70 × 60 cm. The young plants must be planted deeply and watered well.


Frequent chopping promotes root formation and the stability of the plant. In autumn, when the florets are forming, you must water them particularly well. In mid-September, when the first florets have grown, the shoot tip is cut off so that the florets are more even and stronger. Rotting buds need to be removed regularly. Yellow leaves are broken off, but the green leaves are left on the stalk; they protect against frost .

Harvest and overwintering

Brussels sprouts in a field in Heidelberg (December 2011)

Early varieties can be harvested from September; however, the main harvest time is November and December. The florets are carefully plucked from the stem from the bottom up. Brussels sprouts are hardy in many areas. In very cold areas, the whole plants are overwintered in a sheltered, shady area outdoors. Repeated frosts below −10 ° C damage the florets very much.

Pests and diseases

The pests of Brussels sprouts include aphids , flower flies , fleas , the caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly and the cabbage heart mosquito . One disease of the Brussels sprouts is the clubhead .

The Brussels sprouts have developed their own defense against the cabbage white butterfly. The cabbage white butterfly uses glue to attach its eggs to the leaves of the Brussels sprouts to ensure that the larvae find enough food. Receptors in the leaves of cabbage recognize this binding agent and trigger a reaction, causing the plant to emit a scent that attracts parasitic wasps , the enemies of the cabbage white caterpillars. These then lay their eggs parasitically in the caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly. As soon as the larvae hatch, they eat the cabbage white caterpillars from the inside out.

Usage and ingredients

Brussels sprouts are tasty as a salad and cooked as a vegetable and are great for freezing. Brussels sprouts contain a lot of minerals and fiber as well as vitamin A , riboflavin (vitamin B 2 ) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Like other types of cabbage , Brussels sprouts are said to have a health effect due to their ingredients. In larger amounts of food, sprouts tendency as well as other types of cabbage to flatulence to cause. The cause of this are sugar compounds such as stachyose , which are contained in plants and are only broken down in the large intestine , whereby certain gases are also formed.

100 g Brussels sprouts contain:
Calorific value water Fats potassium Calcium magnesium Ascorbic acid
151 kJ (36 kcal) 85 g 0.30 g 387 mg 31 mg 22 mg 112 mg

Web links

Commons : Brussels sprouts ( Brassica oleracea var. Gemmifera )  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Brussels sprouts  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: cabbage sprouts  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. DC.
  2. Ernst Niller: The large and the small vegetable garden . Parey 1990.
  3. Regulation (EEC) No. 1591/87 setting the quality standards for Brussels sprouts, celery and spinach.
  4. Udelgard Körber-Grohne: Useful plants in Germany . Theiss Verlag 1995.
  5. Brussels sprouts. In: Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved January 3, 2020 .
  6. Brussels sprouts info . Pfyffer Associates ( Memento of the original from October 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Roger Müller: Swiss vegetables from genetic laboratories: the consumer has no choice. In: . September 2, 2014, accessed March 17, 2019 .
  8. Jörn on the kampe. In: GEOkompakt , No. 38, pp. 27, 28, 29.
  9. Consumption of Brussels sprouts protects white blood cells from harmful substances from grilled meat. German Institute for Human Nutrition , May 27, 2008, accessed on August 27, 2013 .
  10. Flatulence, air in the stomach: self-help, therapy
  11. W. Souci, W. Expert, H. Kraut: Food table for practice . 5th edition. German Research Institute for Food Chemistry, 1994.