A group of plants from the families Cruciferae and Brassicaceae, also know as the mustard family. They include a variety of plants and weeds, and the food crops cabbage, radish, broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

These foods are all best eaten fresh and raw, or with minimal blanching. They become bitter when old, and release a bad sulfurous aroma when overcooked.

The name comes from the Latin root crux, for cross, referring to the plants' characteristic four-leaf clusters. It may also refer to other things with a cross-like shape, although a more common term is "cruciform".

Cru*cif"er*ous (kr?-s?f"?r-?s), a. [L. crux, crucis, cross + -ferous: cf. F. crucifre.]


Bearing a cross.

2. Bot.

Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a family of plants which have four petals arranged like the arms of a cross, as the mustard, radish, turnip, etc.


© Webster 1913.

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