vegetable family names

Vegetable Family Names

Vegetable Common Names & Vegetable Family Names

Swedish botanist Charles Linnaeus devised a system for classifying vegetable family names in the 1770s. He used Latin names to describe groups of vegetables with similar traits. Two of the most important classifications are vegetable family and genus which can sort and filter for in our  table. ADDucation’s vegetable family names list includes fruits which are commonly believed to be vegetables, including avocados, eggplants/aubergines, tomatoes, all peppers, gourds and zucchini.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegetable Names

FAQs About Scientific / Botanical / Latin Plant Names

  • How are plants named?
    • Common names for plants:
      Plants are given common names on an ad-hoc basis in different localities, regions and languages around the world so a single plant may have dozens of different common names.
    • Scientific / Botanical names for plants:
      The botanical binomial system was devised to assign a unique botanical name to each plant and it works like family names. Start with the surname (the plant Genus), followed by the forename (the specific epithet) to create a unique plant species name for every plant. Latin is used because the system has been in use since the 18th century. Etiquette insists italics are used for the Genus, starting with a capital letter, followed by the species in lowercase.
  • What is the “Genus” of a plant?
    A genus is a group of plants which share a unique set of common characteristics so they have been given the same first name.
  • What is the “specific epithet” of a plant?
    The specific epithet is the second name which, added to the genus, completes the binomial. The specific epithet may have prefixes, suffixes and other components which scholars admit is a mess! The important thing is each plant ends up with a unique name, even if it gets re-classified or sub-species are added.
  •  What is a plant “species”? (abbreviated sp.)
    The species name for any plant is the binomial name formed by the first name (the genus) followed by the second name (the specific epithet) which may have variety and subspecies suffixes.
  • What is a plant “variety”? (abbreviated var.)
    In botany a plant variety is a plant with a slightly different natural botanical structure which ranks below subspecies but above sub-variety (abbreviated to .subvar) and form. Written in the form: Genus species var. variety.
  • What is a plant “cultivar”? (abbreviated cv.)
    A cultivar, short for “cultivated variety” has been propagated by human intervention and would not occur naturally. Written in the form: Genus species cv. Cultivated Variety or Genus species ‘Cultivated Variety’.
  • What’s the difference between a variety and a cultivar?
    Plant varieties occur naturally in the wild and their seeds retain the parent characteristics. Cultivars propagated by human intervention only retain the parent characteristics for one generation, their seeds may well not return the parent characteristics.
  • What is a plant “form”? (abbreviated f. and often omitted)
    The form of a plant indicates a minor difference to the species which could be the color of the leaf, fruit or flower etc. Written in the form: Genus species f. form or Genus species form.
  • What’s the difference between pulses or legumes?
    This is a British/American difference. In the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ etc. pulses refer to the dried edible seeds of some plants in the legume family, for example beans, lentils, chickpeas and split peas. In the US these are commonly referred to as legumes. Officially a legume is ANY plant of the Fabaceae/Leguminosae family and some leguminous plants are not edible.

Important: ADDucation’s list of vegetables is published for information only. ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort vegetable family names. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen to show as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table of vegetable family names.

A-Z List of Vegetable Common NamesVegetable Scientific Name / Botanical Name / SpeciesGenusFamilyCommon Vegetable Family NamesFruit or Vegetable? Nutrition, Culinary uses & Key facts
Alfalfa / LucerneMedicago sativa.MedicagoLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Pea family.1 cup of Alfafa sprouts contains just 8 calories with 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber.
AmaranthAmaranthusAmaranthusAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family.Originally grown in South American by the Aztecs over 5000 years ago. Protein rich plant.
ArtichokeCynara scolymus.CynaraAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Artichoke leaves can be used to make tea.
ArugulaEruca sativa.ErucaBrassicaceaeCrucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.Arugula is a leafy green vegetable leaves, popular in salads. Has a peppery flavor. Also see Rocket.
AsparagusAsparagus officinalis.AsparagusAsparagaceaeAsparagus family.
  • Asparagus facts: Asparagus doesn’t keep well so should be used as soon after harvesting as possible.
  • Asparagus nutrition: Asparagus is around 93% water and is low in calories and sodium. It’s a good source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. Asparagus is rich in saponins which offer many health benefits.
  • Asparagus culinary uses: Asparagus shoots can be eaten raw in salads, poached, steamed or stir fried with meat, grilled, added to soups and stews and pickled. Thicker stems which have become “woody” can be peeled before use.
Aubergine (UK) / Eggplant (US/AUS/NZ) / BrinjalSolanum melongena.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Is Aubergine fruit or vegetable? An Aubergine is the fruit (a berry) from an Eggplant.
  • Aubergine nutrition: Aubergines are low in fat and calories and rich in soluble fibre.
  • Aubergine also called? Eggplant in USA, NZ, Australia. Brinjal in South Asia and South Africa.
Avocado / Palta / Alligator pearPersea americana.PerseaLauraceaeLaurel family.
  • Is Avocado fruit or vegetable? An avocado is the edible fruit (large berry with a single seed) from an Avocado tree.
  • Avocado nutrition: Cholesterol free, high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, low in sodium and sugar with over 20 vitamins and minerals.
  • Avocado culinary uses: Usually eaten raw or the key ingredient in Mexican guacamole dip. Cover peeled avocado in lemon/lime juice to prevent browning.
Bamboo shoots / Bamboo sprouts / Moso bambooPhyllostachys edulis.PhyllostachysPoaceaeGrass family vegetables.Bamboo shoots must be boiled or cooked to remove natural toxins.
Bean / Wild beanPhaseolusFabaceaeLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.Beans and bean products (tofu, tempeh etc.) yield between 6-11% protein, the most concentrated plant-based protein in the world. See also Green bean.
Beet / BeetrootBeta vulgaris.BetaAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Beetroot family.Beetroot can help cure a hangover. Its red color from the Betacyanin pigment speeds up liver detoxification.
Bell pepper / Sweet pepper / CapsicumCapsicum annuum.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are bell peppers fruit or vegetable? Bell peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Bell peppers change color and get sweeter the longer they are left on the vine. Bell peppers are initially green and ripen to yellow, red, orange and other colors depending on the variety.
  • How hot are bell peppers on the Scoville scale? Very mild. 0 SHU.
Bok choy / Bok choiBrassica rapa subspecies chinensis.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Mild flavor. Fast growing with white stalks and dark green leaves. Can be eaten raw or cooked. See also Pak Choi
BroccoliBrassica oleracea variety italica.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Broccoli is packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, more vitamin C than an orange with protein and fiber.
Brussels sproutBrassica oleracea variety gemmifera.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Brussels sprouts are a winter crop with edible buds that look like mini cabbages. Sprouts are a low GI food that’s rich in protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Tastes great halved and mixed with chestnuts and bacon.
BuckwheatFagopyrum esculentum.FagopyrumPolygonaceaeBuckwheat family.Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal eaten as cereal grain that does not grow in grasses. Gluten-free despite the name. Nutty flavor. Rice substitute.
Burdock / Greater Burdock / Niúbàng (牛蒡)
Arctium lappa.ArctiumAsteraceaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Burdock is an edible root vegetable up to 1 metre (3 feet) long and 2cm diameter (3/4″) popular across Asia but out of favor elsewhere. Considered a weed in Australia, North America and some other parts of the world. The tiny hooks of Burdock seed pods were the inspiration for the invention of Velcro.
Buttercup SquashCucurbita maxima.CucurbitaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.High in carbs and antioxidants. Good source of potassium and fiber. See also Squash.
CabbageBrassica oleracea variety capitata.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Cabbagess can be eaten raw or cooked. Cabbage is low in fat and cholesterol, high in fiber, vitamins, potassium, iron and magnesium.
Cacao/Cocoaheobroma cacao.TheobromaMalvaceaeMallow family.Cacao is the bean. Cocoa is the product made from the bean. Addictive alkaloids, delicious flavor, stimulant, purest form of chocolate. Three main varieties of cocoa are Forastero, Criollo and Trinatorio.
Canola oil / Rapeseed 00Brassica napus.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Canola oil is a food grade Rapeseed oil with less than 2% by weight erucic acid (US) or 5% by weight (EU). See also Rapeseed oil.
Cantaloupe / MuskmelonCucumis melo variety cantalupensis.CucumisCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Cantaloupe melons are rich in vitamin A and packed with antioxidants including lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene which can defend against cancers. See also Melon and Honeydew melon.
Caraway seeds / Meridian fennel / Persian cuminCarum carvi.CarumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Caraway seeds are a popular spice with a sweet peppery aroma, essential oils, rich in fiber, antioxidants and vitamins.
Carob / Locust bean / St. John’s breadCeratonia siliqua.CeratoniaLeguminosae /
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.The fruit of the Carob tree is an edible pod rich in sucrose and proteins, A and B vitamins and minerals. Carob flour can be used as a Cocoa substitute.
CarrotDaucus carota subspecies sativus.DaucusApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Carrots are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene (which makes carrots orange). 40% beta-carotene is released when cooked compared to just 3% when eating raw carrots.
CauliflowerBrassica oleracea variety botrytis.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Cauliflower contains sulforaphane which attacks cancer cells but only when you eat it raw. Cauliflower is also packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
Cayenne pepperCapsicum annuum.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are cayenne peppers fruit or vegetable? Cayenne peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Cayenne peppers change color and get sweeter the longer they are left on the vine. All peppers are initially green and ripen to yellow, red, purple, brown, black and ivory depending on the variety.
  • Scoville scale: Cayenne peppers are hotter in their ripe red color than green. 30,000-50,000 SHU.
CeleryApium graveolens.ApiumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Celery is 95% water, low in calories, carbohydrates, cholesterol and fat. Good source of vitamin K. Anti-inflammatory and aphrodisiac.
ChamomileMatricaria chamomilla.MatricariaAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Chamomile is a popular herbal tea. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and other medical properties. Chamomile is used in cosmetic and aromatherapy products.
Chayote / Choko / ChristopheneSechium edule.SechiumCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Chayote fruit, root, stem, seeds, shoots and leaves are all edible and provide vitamin C, folate and amino acids.
Chickpea / Chick pea / Garbanzo beans
Cicer arietinum.CicerLeguminosae /
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Pea family.Chickpeas are edible hot or cold. Chick peas are high in protein, minerals, vitamins, soluble and dietary fiber. Chickpeas have a low glycemic index (GI). Chickpeas are a ground caffeine-free coffee substitute.
ChicoryCichorium intybus.CichoriumAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Chicory has bitter leaves and is closely related to Endive.
Chili pepperCapsicum annuum.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are chili peppers fruit or vegetable? Chili peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Chili pepper seeds are not the hottest part. Where the seed attaches to the inside is the hottest part. Chili peppers change color and get sweeter the longer they are left on the vine. All peppers are initially green and ripen to yellow, red, purple, brown, black and ivory depending on the variety.
Chinese cabbage / Napa cabbage
Brassica rapa subspecies pekinensis.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, including iron.
ChivesAllium schoenoprasum.AlliumAmarylidaceaeAllium family, Cultivated garlic.Chives, along with chervil, parsley and tarragon are the classic French “fines herbs”.
Cilantro / Coriander / Chinese parsley
Coriandrum sativum.CoriandrumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Cilantro is both a spice (seeds) and a herb (leaves).
Collard greensBrassica oleracea variety acephala.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Collard greens are a cultivar of the Acephala Group which includes Spring greens and Kale.
Coriander / Cilantro / Chinese parsley
Coriandrum sativum.CoriandrumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Coriander is both an herb (leaves) and a spice (seeds).
Corn / Sweet cornZea mays.ZeaPoaceaeGrass family.
  • Is corn a vegetable, fruit or grain? Corn is a dry fruit which is commonly called a grain.
  • Corn facts: Most corn is turned into animal feed, corn ethanol biofuel, corn syrup and corn starch. Sweet corn is the sweetest variety of corn eaten as sweetcorn kernels, pressed into corn oil or fermented and distilled to make bourbon whiskey. Corn is another name for Maize. Refer to Maize for more details.
CucumberCucumis sativus.CucumisCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.There are slicing, pickling and seedless varieties of cucumber.
Cucurbita / Field pumpkin
CucurbitaCucurbitaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.See also Squash.
CuminCuminum cyminum.CuminumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Second most popular spice (black pepper is the most popular).
Daikon radishRaphanus sativus variety Longipinnatus.RaphanusBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.Fast growing long white root.
DandelionTaraxacumTaraxacumAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Part of the daisy family.
DillAnethum graveolens.AnethumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Dill is the only species in the Anethum genus. Should not be planted alongside carrots or tomatoes.
Eggplant (US/AUS/NZ) / Aubergine (UK) / Brinjal
Solanum melongena.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.An eggplant is the edible fruit (a berry) from an Eggplant. Eggplants are low calorie and fat rich in soluble fiber. Eggplants are called Brinjal in South Africa and South Asia. Eggplants are identical to Aubergines.
EndiveCichorium endivia.CichoriumAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Bitter leaves, closely related to Chicory.
FennelFoeniculum vulgare.FoeniculumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Fennel bulbs have white flesh. Minty dried fennel seeds used as a spice. Part of carrot family. Should not be planted alongside other vegetables.
Garden sorrel / Spinach Dock
Rumex acetosa.RumexPolygonaceaeBuckwheat family.Often just called Sorrel.
GarlicAllium sativum.AlliumAmarylidaceaeAllium family, Cultivated garlic.Allium is the Latin word for garlic. Garlic contains phytonutrients with proven health benefits.
Goji berry / Wolfberry
Lycium barbarum.LyciumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Goji berry nutrition: Packed with nutrients, anti-oxidants (zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, lutein and cryptoxanthin), minerals and vitamins.
  • Goji berry uses: Widely used in Chinese medicine.
Goldenberry / Cape gooseberry
Physalis peruviana.PhysalisSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.Physalis is one of the vegetable family names that has many other common names. See also Peruvian groundcherry.
Green beans / Common bean
Phaseolus vulgaris.PhaseolusLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.Beans are high in fiber and protein, low in fat. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants. See also bean.
Guajillo chili pepper
Capsicum annuum ‘Guajillo’.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are guajillo chili peppers fruit or vegetable? Guajillo peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Guajillo chili peppers change color and get sweeter the longer they are left on the vine. All peppers are initially green and ripen to yellow, red, purple, brown, black and ivory depending on the variety.
  • How hot are guajillo peppers on the Scoville scale? Medium heat 2500-5000 SHU.
Habanero chili pepper
Capsicum chinense Habanero Group.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are habanero chili peppers fruit or vegetable? Habanero peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Habanero peppers change color from green to orange and red and can also be brown, white, yellow, green or purple the longer they are left on the vine.
  • How hot are habanero peppers on the Scoville scale? Very hot heat 100,000-350,000 SHU.
Honeydew melon / Honeymelon
Cucumis melo Linnaeus (Inodorus Group) ‘Honey Dew’.CucumisCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Sweet pale flesh. See also Melon and Cantaloupe.
HorseradishArmoracia rusticana.ArmoraciaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.Horseradish has a sharp flavor and it’s a strong smelling root vegetable. Related to Wasabi.
Frigitello / Sweet Italian pepper / Golden Greek pepper / Tuscan pepper
Capsicum annuum ‘Friggitello’.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are frigitello chili peppers fruits or vegetables? Frigitello peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Frigitello peppers are sweet with a hint of bitterness, often pickled. They’re usually picked while still golden green but will turn eventually turn red if left on the vine.
  • How hot are frigitello peppers on the Scoville scale? Mild heat 0-500 SHU.
Jalapeño chili pepperCapsicum annuum ‘Jalapeño’.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshade family.
  • Are jalapeño chili peppers fruits or vegetables? Jalapeño peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Jalapeño Peppers facts: Jalapeño peppers are usually picked while green but will change color to red, orange or yellow if they are left to ripen longer.
  • How hot are jalapeño peppers on the Scoville scale? Medium heat 3000-8000 SHU.
Jerusalem artichoke / Sunroot / Earth apple / Topinambour
Helianthus tuberosus.HelianthusAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Helianthus from the Greek god Helios, meaning sun.
Jicama / Mexican yam bean / Mexican turnip / Yacon
Pachyrhizus erosus.PachyrhizusLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.Low calorie fruity tasting root vegetable. Good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Kale / Borecole
Brassica oleracea variety sabellica.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Leaf cabbage (doesn’t form a head) with green or purple leaves. Cultivar of the Acephala Group which includes spring greens and Collard greens.
KohlrabiBrassica oleracea Gongylodes Group.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Can be eaten raw or cooked.
Lamb’s-Quarters / Melde / Goosefoot / Fat-Hen
Chenopodium album.
ChenopodiumAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family.Considered a weed in some parts of the world.
Leek
Allium ampeloprasum ‘Leek Group’.AlliumAmarylidaceaeAllium family, Cultivated garlic.“Leek” evolved from the Old English word “leac”.
Lentil / Egyptian lentil / Red lentil / Le Puy lentils
Lens culinaris.FabaceaeLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Lentil family.Cholesterol and gluten free, low fat edible pulse. 2 main groups; large lentils called macrospermae and small lentils called microspermae.
Lettuce / Butterhead / Chinese lettuce
Lactuca sativa.LactucaAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Low calorie green leaves (15 calories per 100g) good source of antioxidants (esp. zeaxanthin), vitamins C & K and minerals.
Lima Beans / Butter beans (UK) / Sieva beans
Phaseolus lunatus.PhaseolusLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.Good source of soluble fiber (helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels) and insoluble fiber, which helps prevent IBS and constipation.
LuffaLuffa aegyptiaca.LuffaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Excellent source of vitamin A and carbohydrates.
Maca / Maka
Lepidium meyenii.LepidiumBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.Rich malty flavor. Protein containing all the essential amino acids your body needs along with vitamins and minerals.
MaizeZea mays.ZeaPoaceaeGrass family vegetables.
  • Is maize a grain, fruit or vegetable? Maize is a dry fruit which is commonly called a grain.
  • Maize facts: Most maize is turned into animal feed, ethanol biofuel, corn syrup and corn starch. Corn is another name for Maize, refer to Corn for more details.
Melon / Water Melon
Cucumis melo variety cantalupensis.CucumisCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.See also Cantaloupe.
Mustard greensBrassica juncea.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Pungent smell and peppery flavor.
Napa cabbage / Chinese cabbage / Pe-Tsai / Won Bok
Brassica rapa subspecies pekinensis.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Low in calories, packed with anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins etc. Can be eaten raw or steamed.
Okra / Okro / Ochro / Ladies’ fingers
Abelmoschus esculentus.AbelmoschusMalvaceaeMallow family.
  • Is Okra a vegetable or fruit? Okra is a fruit (edible seed pods) from an Okra plant.
  • Okra facts: Okra is mucilaginous which results in a goo/slime when cooked. Okra can also be eaten raw, added to salads or pickled. Okra seeds can be used to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute or pressed to produce oil which tastes and smells great and is high in unsaturated fats. Okra leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens.
OnionAllium cepa.AlliumAmarylidaceaeAllium family, Cultivated garlic.Originated in Middle-Asia.
Pak choi / Pak choy
Brassica rapa subspecies chinensis.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Fast growing with white stalks and dark green leaves. Mild flavor. Can be eaten cooked or raw. See also Bok Choy.
ParsleyPetroselinum crispum.PetroselinumApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Curly parsley has less flavor and is often used as garnish.
ParsnipPastinaca sativa.PastinacaApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.Root vegetable, closely related to carrot and parsley.
Pasilla chili pepper / Chile negroCapsicum annuum.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are pasilla chili peppers a fruit or vegetable? Pascilla peppers are fruit (berries) from a Pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Peppers facts: Pascilla peppers have a dark, wrinkly skin. Pascilla peppers are initially dark green and turn to dark brown was they ripen.
  • How hot are pasilla peppers on the Scoville scale? Mild to medium heat 2500-5000 SHU on Scoville scale.
Pea / Field pea / Snap pea / Snow pea / Split pea
Pisum sativum.ViciaLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Pea family.Edible seeds of legume crop.
Peanut / Groundnut / Earthnuts
Arachis hypogaea.ArachisLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Pea family.Rich in energy (100g = 567 calories) and antioxidants (including p-coumaric acid and resveratrol), nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Peruvian groundcherry / Physalis
Physalis peruviana.PhysalisSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.Physalis is one of the vegetable family names that has many other common names. See also Goldenberry.
Pepino melon
Solanum muricatum.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.edible skin but also easy to peel.
Pimiento / Pimiento / Cherry chili pepperCapsicum annuum.CapsicumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are Pimiento chili peppers a fruit or vegetable? Pimiento peppers are fruit (berries) from a pepper plant. All peppers in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Pimiento pepper facts: Pimiento peppers are sweet and aromatic. They change color on the vine to bright red.
  • How hot are Pimiento peppers on the Scoville scale? Mild, between 100-500 SHU on the Scoville scale.
PotatoSolanum tuberosum.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.Potatoes contain lots of starch (carbs) so they are used like rice, pasta and bread.
Pumpkin
CucurbitaCucurbitaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Scientifically pumpkins are fruit because they contain seeds. Also see Squash.
QuinoaChenopodium quinoa.ChenopodiumAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family.Mainly grown as grain crop for its edible white, red and black seeds.
RadishRaphanus raphanistrum subspecies sativus.RaphanusBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.edible root vegetable popular in salads.
Rapeseed (oil)Brassica napus.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Rapeseed is grown commercially to produce Rapeseed oil. Rapeseed meal is a byproduct of oil production and used as a high protein animal food. Biodiesel is also produced from Rapeseed. Rapeseed is grown as a cover crop to reduce soil erosion. See also Canola oil.
Rapini / Broccoli Rabe
Brassica ruvo.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Rapini resembles Broccoli but does not form a large head. Rapini is hypoallergenic and a good source of vitamin C, A, K.
RhubarbRheum rhabarbarum.RheumPolygonaceaeBuckwheat family.
  • Is Rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable? Rhubarb is a vegetable.
  • Rhubarb facts: Rhubarb leafstalks (petioles) can be eaten raw or boiled and sweetened.
  • Rhubarb culinary uses: Rhubarb is popular with custard (UK) and as a pie ingredient. Rhubarb is a vegetable, often believed to be a fruit. Rhubarb roots, and the rhizome, have medical uses. Rhubarb leaves are inedible because they contain oxalic acid.
Rocket (UK)/ Rucoli / Rugala / Arugula (US)
Eruca sativa.ErucaBrassicaceaeCrucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Leafy green vegetable leaves, popular in salads, with a peppery flavor. Known as rocket because it grows fast! See also Arugula.
Romaine / Cos lettuce
Lactuca sativa variety longifolia.LactucaAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Romaine lettuce has a tall head with sturdy leaves.
Rutabaga / Swede / Yellow turnip / Neep
Brassica napobrassica.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Rutabaga is a root vegetable, a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Rutabaga leaves are edible.
SafflowerCarthamus tinctorius.CarthamusCompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Safflower is Thistle-like and commercially grown for oil from seeds.
SalsifyTragopogon porrifolius.TragopogonAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Salsify is a light skinned edible root with herbal uses.
ShallotAllium cepa variety aggregatum.AlliumAmarylidaceaeAllium family, Cultivated garlic.Shallots are a type of onion rather than a separate species.
Soybean / Soya bean
Glycine max.GlycineLeguminosae/
Fabaceae (US)
Legumes, Bean family.Soybeans can be used as a coffee substitute. Soya beans are high in protein with edible beansprouts.
Spinach / Persian green
Spinacia oleracea.SpinaciaAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family.Spinach has edible tender crispy dark green leaves. Spinach has just 23 calories per 100g and is rich in iron, vitamin A, C & K, antioxidants and minerals.
SquashCucurbitaCucurbitaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.
  • Are squashes fruits or vegetables? All Squashes are the flowering fruit of plants in the Cucurbita and Lagenaria genus so all squashes are fruit not vegetables.
  • Squash nutrition: Squashes are around 94% water, 3% carbohydrates, 1% protein with almost no fat. Squashes are low calorie, rich in vitamin C, a good source of B vitamins but otherwise low in nutrients.
  • Squash culinary uses:  Squashes are versatile and can be used in salads, to make bread, biscuits, cheesecake, desserts, donuts, granola, pasta dishes, pie fillings, pancakes, pudding, ice cream, soups and stuffings.
Sugar beetBeta vulgaris subspecies vulgaris convariety vulgaris variety altissima.BetaAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family.Sugar beet is grown commercially for the high concentration of sucrose in its root.
SunflowerHelianthusHelianthusAsteraceae / CompositaeAster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family.Sunflowers are grown commercially to produce sunflower oil. Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack. Sunflower petals can be added to salads. Sunflower flowering buds can steamed like artichokes. Helianthus comes from Helios, the personification of the Sun, in Greek mythology.
Sweet potatoIpomoea batatas.IpomoeaConvolvulaceaeMorning glory family.Sweet potato is a sweet tasting root vegetable with edible young leaves and shoots.
Chard / White beet / Silverbeet / Strawberry spinachBeta vulgaris subspecies vulgaris.BetaAmaranthaceaeAmaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family.Chard is a leafy green vegetable with inedible roots. Chard is low calorie and high in vitamin A, C, K with both minerals and fiber.
Tamarillo / Tree tomatoSolanum betaceum.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are tamarillos a fruit or vegetable? Tamarillos are fruit (berries) from a tomato plant. All tomatoes in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Tamarillo facts: Tamarillos are egg-shaped, yellow to orange tamarillos are sweeter than red to purple tamarillos all colors with or without darker stripes. Firm texture with larger seeds than normal tomatoes.
  • Tamarillo nutrition: Low in calories, very high in iron and vitamins.
  • Culinary uses for tamarillos: The flesh can be scooped and served on toast, made into compotes, added to stews chutneys and curries. Tamarillos can be blended to make juices or used as a flavoring in fermented Kombucha Tea.
Tomatillo / Mexican husk tomato
Physalis philadelphica.PhysalisSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are tomatilloes a fruit or vegetable? Tomatillos are fruit (berries) from a tomato plant. All tomatoes in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Tomatillo facts: Tomatiloes are small spherical green or green-purple fruit.
  • Culinary uses for tamarillos: Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in Mexican salsa verde, or added to soups, stews, stir fries, curries, made into marmalade and as a dessert ingredient. Can be pickled for a sweeter flavor.
TomatoSolanum lycopersicum.SolanumSolanaceaeNightshades family, potato family.
  • Are tomatoes a fruit or vegetable? Tomatoes are fruit (berries) from a tomato plant. All tomatoes in the Solanaceae family are fruit berries not vegetables.
  • Tomato facts: Tomatoes may be small or large, spherical, egg or plum-shaped and although typically red can also be green, yellow, golden and purple.
  • Culinary uses for tomatoes: Can be eaten raw in salads, added to sauces, soups, stews, stir fries, curries, spread on pizzas, juiced as drinks and fried in breakfasts and many other uses.
  • Tomato nutrition: Tomatoes are around 95% water with less than 1% fat and 1% protein, some vitamin C, Lycopene, and negligible amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
TurnipBrassica rapa subspecies rapa.BrassicaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer vegetable family names: Mustard family, Cabbage family, Brassica family.Turnips are a low calorie root vegetable rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Virginia pepperweed / Pepperwort
Lepidium virginicum.LepidiumBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Mustard family.Young pepperweed leaves are edible raw and can be used as an herb. Young seeds substitute for black pepper.
Wasabi / Japanese horseradish
Eutrema japonicum.WasabiaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family.Wasabi is related to Horseradish and Mustard.
WatercressNasturtium officinale.RorippaBrassicaceae (Cruciferae)Crucifer family, Mustard family.Watercress Peppery green leaves richer in Vitamin C than Orange. Anti-cancer and immune system boosting properties.
WatermelonCitrullus lanatus.CitrullusCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Watermelon was originally from Africa. Watermelon is the state vegetable of Oklahoma.
Wax gourd / Winter melon / Pai GuaBenincasa hispida.BenincasaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Wax gourds are widely grown across Asia. They are sweet and juicy with white flesh and a good source of vitamin B1, B3, vitamin C and minerals. Wax gourds are 96% water which makes them ideal in low fat diets.
Wheatgrass / Wild triga
Thinopyrum intermedium.AgropyronPoaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.Wheatgrass sprouting leaves are gluten-free because wheat seed has not formed. Popular as juice.
Wild Carrot / Bird’s nest / Bishop’s laceDaucus carota.DaucusApiaceae (Umbelliferae)Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family.
  • Wild carrot facts: Wild carrots are the ancestors of all cultivated carrots. The roots and leaves before flowering are edible. After flowering the white flower heads can be eaten raw or fried. Wild carrots are considered weeds in some parts of the world.
  • Health warning: Wild carrots looks similar to poisonous hemlock so be certain!
Zucchini / Courgette / Marrow
Cucurbita pepo variety cylindrica.CucurbitaCucurbitaceaeCucurbits family, Gourd family.
  • Is Zucchini a fruit or a vegetable? Zucchini, courgettes and marrows are all fruit berries called “pepos” which are the swollen ovaries of zucchini flowers on zucchini plants.
  • Zucchini culinary uses: Zucchini are delicious friend in oil or butter and can be shaved into thin spirals and used as a low carb alternative to noodles or pasta. Zucchini flowers are edible.
  • Zucchini nutrition and health: Zucchini has anti-cancer and anti heart disease properties. Zucchini has higher Potassium than bananas.

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8 responses to “Vegetable Family Names”

  1. Avatar JC says:

    Hi Katie, enter “Capsicum” into the vegetable family names filter box and to see all the common names for vegetables in the list.

  2. Avatar JC says:

    Thanks for your kind remark and comment. Photos would look good and could be useful. If enough people ask for them we’ll consider adding them. ADDucation’s primary focus is creating clear sortable lists which load fast, photos would slow this down – it would be a trade off.

  3. Avatar Ali Ismail Jama says:

    It’s a very good vegetable list – especially with the scientific name along with the genus and family name, It would be even better if photos were added to make it further identification easier.
    .

  4. Avatar JC says:

    Thanks for your comments Samantha, it looks like it’s UK/US/rest of world thing – I’ve added both for now.

  5. Avatar Samantha Coronado says:

    Rodney, All beans are part of the Fabaceae family or legume family. Definitely not gourds 🙂

  6. Avatar Samantha Coronado says:

    I noticed you are still using Leguminosae as a family name. This is now outdated!! The legume family is now officially Fabaceae – it would be useful if you updated your table to reflect this. Thanks so much.

  7. Avatar Rodney says:

    I want a full complete list of all gourd vegetables and fruits.
    As we are Buddhists and cannot eat them and if you know if certain drinks and juices and if any beans are a part of this family

  8. Avatar Katie says:

    Hi, so I have an acute allergy to capsaicin and am trying to research all of the foods and medications that contain it. It is a big problem for me not knowing what all they are, especially as food ingredients. I can’t find a list of the common names anywhere, I can find the latin names for each but that doesn’t help me as not many people know latin. Can you perhaps aid me in my search?

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