My wife cut a head of red cabbage in half and found this yellow and white organic mass inside it. We never saw anything like it before. Can anyone tell me what it is? Would it have been safe to eat? Could we have just cut off this portion of it and used the rest? We ended up playing it safe and throwing the whole head away.

red cabbage with yellow and white mass

red cabbage with yellow and white stuff on top

  • 2
    Those just look like yellow leaves from the photo. What texture are they?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 1:56
  • @FuzzyChef My wife took out some of it. It came out as pellet shaped pieces. I added another photo when she took some of it out. I didn't handle it too much so I can't say what the texture was like. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 2:13
  • @FuzzyChef However I can say they seemed to be separate from the other leaves of the cabbage. So I am not sure if they are part of the leaves. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 2:15
  • I am intrigued by this. If you still have it, please examine it further. From the photos it looks like a genetic defect causing differently pigmented leaves to grow inside.
    – myklbykl
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 2:29
  • @myklbykl Unfortunately we threw it out and took the trash out today so I don't have it anymore. Here is a google photos album link with all the photos I took (2 of the photos are already included in my question): photos.app.goo.gl/Wvz4RZBmiruZNA1u7 Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


These are immature flower shoots from the cabbage. Over time these would develop into a shoot that projects out the top of the "head" of the cabbage bearing the flowers.

These are not purple as they are largely stem (check the stems/major veins on the leaves - they are mostly white too). The flowers of the cabbage are yellow - but these aren't the yellow bits you are seeing - those are the bracts; the same as the "leaves" you get around a broccoli floret.

  • 7
    If you can, please tell us if it is edible. And if it is - is it tasty?
    – Mołot
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 10:46
  • 8
    @Mołot I'd be very surprised if they weren't perfectly safe to eat, but they're probably a bit rubbery. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 15:14
  • 1
    Thanks, I actually thought it might be a flower developing but couldn't find anything like it in a Google Image search. I also thought it might be some kind of parasitic plant or something. Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 19:23
  • 12
    @Mołot - yes you can eat them. You probably have eaten them before and not noticed that they were there. They taste just like the cabbage stalks/veins on the leaves. They can be a bit more peppery later in development. Remember that cauliflower and broccoli as well as a number of other variants are the edible flowers of Brassica oleracea varieties.
    – bob1
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 20:45

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