Cauliflower, though not entirely man-made, has been shaped by human intervention. It is a cultivated variety of the wild Brassica oleracea, enhanced through selective breeding over millennia to produce the nutritious and versatile vegetable we enjoy today.
Cauliflower is a domesticated cultivar of wild cabbage or Brassica oleracea. Cauliflower is most genetically similar to broccoli. Both vegetables come from the flower clusters of wild cabbage.
The history of cauliflower begins slightly more recently, about 2,000 years ago. The exact geographic origin of cauliflower remains a mystery. But cauliflower most likely originated in the Mediterranean.
Selective breeding allows humans to develop desirable traits in fruit and vegetable crops. Desirable traits may relate to flavor, size, yield, and resilience to disease, pests, or unfavorable weather.