Broccoli is a plant of the Cabbage family. Its common varieties are Calabrese and purple sprouting broccoli.Broccoli possesses abundant fleshy green flower heads arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible stalk. The large mass of flower heads is surrounded by leaves. Broccoli most closely resembles its close relative cauliflower, but is green rather than white. Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that does poorly in hot summer weather. It is usually boiled or steamed, but may be eaten raw and has become popular as a raw vegetable in hors-d'oeuvre trays. Broccoli is high in vitamin C and soluble fibre. Broccoli also contains the compound glucoraphanin, leading to an anticancer compound sulforaphane.The word broccoli comes from the Latin brachium and Italian brocco that means "arm", or "branch". Broccoli is often referred to as a "cruciferous" vegetable. The Brassicaceae family (also known as the mustard or cabbage family) was formerly called the Cruciferae family, due to the fact that these plants often have four petals that can look like crosses.