Flower bud in a cauliflower head, SEM

Flower bud in a cauliflower head, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Floret (flower bud) meristem of a cauliflower head (Brassica oleracea botrytis), coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae (Cabbage family). It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Cauliflower and broccoli are the same species and have very similar structures, though cauliflower replaces the green flower buds with white inflorescence meristem. It has several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health. Sulforaphane is an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. The arrangement of florets around the head is according to a Fibonacci series, a number series in which each number is the sum of the two preceding it. Magnification: x60 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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