It is an edible plant of the Brassicaceae family, and a biennial herbaceous plant, whose smooth leaves form a characteristic compact head. It is also known as white cabbage because of its characteristic pale green colour, to differentiate it from red cabbage, which is known as purple cabbage.
The different varieties were obtained from the wild species, known for centuries, by crossbreeding and selection to adapt them to different climatic conditions.
There are two varieties of cabbage: early and late, the early ones mature in about 50 days. They produce small heads and are intended for immediate consumption as they do not withstand storage. The late varieties, which mature in 80 days, produce larger heads and are intended for winter supply.