vegetable family names

Vegetable Family Names

Vegetable Common Names & Vegetable Family Names

Swedish botanist Charles Linnaeus devised a system to classify vegetable family names in the 1770s. He used Latin names to describe groups of vegetables with similar traits. Two of the most important vegetable classifications are genus and family. You can sort and filter any vegetable in our table. ADDucation’s list of vegetable family names includes fruits which many people believe to be vegetables. For example 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 Names Vegetable Scientific Name / Botanical Name / Species Genus Family Common Vegetable Family Names Fruit or Vegetable? Nutrition, Culinary uses & Key facts
Alfalfa / Lucerne Medicago sativa. Medicago. Leguminosae/
Fabaceae (US).
Legumes, Pea family. 1 cup of Alfafa sprouts contains just 8 calories with 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber.
Amaranth Amaranthus Amaranthus. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family. Originally grown in South American by the Aztecs over 5000 years ago. Protein rich plant.
Artichoke Cynara scolymus. Cynara. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Artichoke leaves can be used to make tea.
Arugula Eruca sativa. Eruca. Brassicaceae. Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family. Arugula is a leafy green vegetable leaves, popular in salads. Has a peppery flavor. Also see Rocket.
Asparagus Asparagus officinalis. Asparagus. Asparagaceae. Asparagus 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) / Brinjal Solanum melongena. Solanum Solanaceae. Nightshades 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 pear Persea americana. Persea.. Lauraceae. Laurel 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 bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. Phyllostachys. Poaceae. Grass family vegetables. Bamboo shoots must be boiled or cooked to remove natural toxins.
Bean / Wild bean Phaseolus Fabaceae. Leguminosae/
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 / Beetroot Beta vulgaris. Beta. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth 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 / Capsicum Capsicum annuum. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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 choi Brassica rapa subspecies chinensis. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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
Broccoli Brassica oleracea variety italica. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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 sprout Brassica oleracea variety gemmifera. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Buckwheat Fagopyrum esculentum. Fagopyrum. Polygonaceae. Buckwheat 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. Arctium. Asteraceae. Aster 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 Squash Cucurbita maxima. Cucurbita. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. High in carbs and antioxidants. Good source of potassium and fiber. See also Squash.
Cabbage Brassica oleracea variety capitata. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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/Cocoa heobroma cacao. Theobroma. Malvaceae. Mallow 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 00 Brassica napus. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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 / Muskmelon Cucumis melo variety cantalupensis. Cucumis. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits 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 cumin Carum carvi. Carum. Apiaceae (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 bread Ceratonia siliqua. Ceratonia. Leguminosae /
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.
Carrot Daucus carota subspecies sativus. Daucus. Apiaceae (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.
Cauliflower Brassica oleracea variety botrytis. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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 pepper Capsicum annuum. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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.
Celery Apium graveolens. Apium. Apiaceae (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.
Chamomile Matricaria chamomilla. Matricaria. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster 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 / Christophene Sechium edule. Sechium. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits 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. Cicer. Leguminosae /
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.
Chicory Cichorium intybus. Cichorium. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Chicory has bitter leaves and is closely related to Endive.
Chili pepper Capsicum annuum. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Chives Allium schoenoprasum. Allium. Amarylidaceae. Allium family, Cultivated garlic. Chives, along with chervil, parsley and tarragon are the classic French “fines herbs”.
Cilantro / Coriander / Chinese parsley
Coriandrum sativum. Coriandrum. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family. Cilantro is both a spice (seeds) and a herb (leaves).
Collard greens Brassica oleracea variety acephala. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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. Coriandrum. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family. Coriander is both an herb (leaves) and a spice (seeds).
Corn / Sweet corn Zea mays. Zea. Poaceae. Grass 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.
Cucumber Cucumis sativus. Cucumis. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. There are slicing, pickling and seedless varieties of cucumber.
Cucurbita / Field pumpkin
Cucurbita Cucurbita. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. See also Squash.
Cumin Cuminum cyminum. Cuminum. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family. Second most popular spice (black pepper is the most popular).
Daikon radish Raphanus sativus variety Longipinnatus. Raphanus. Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family. Fast growing long white root.
Dandelion Taraxacum Taraxacum. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Part of the daisy family.
Dill Anethum graveolens. Anethum. Apiaceae (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. Solanum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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.
Endive Cichorium endivia. Cichorium. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Bitter leaves, closely related to Chicory.
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare. Foeniculum. Apiaceae (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. Rumex. Polygonaceae. Buckwheat family. Often just called Sorrel.
Garlic Allium sativum. Allium. Amarylidaceae. Allium family, Cultivated garlic. Allium is the Latin word for garlic. Garlic contains phytonutrients with proven health benefits.
Goji berry / Wolfberry
Lycium barbarum. Lycium. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Physalis. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Phaseolus. Leguminosae/
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’. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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’. Cucumis. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. Sweet pale flesh. See also Melon and Cantaloupe.
Horseradish Armoracia rusticana. Armoracia. Brassicaceae (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’. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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 pepper Capsicum annuum ‘Jalapeño’. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshade 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. Helianthus. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster 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. Pachyrhizus. Leguminosae/
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. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Kohlrabi Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Chenopodium. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family. Considered a weed in some parts of the world.
Leek
Allium ampeloprasum ‘Leek Group’. Allium. Amarylidaceae. Allium family, Cultivated garlic. “Leek” evolved from the Old English word “leac”.
Lentil / Egyptian lentil / Red lentil / Le Puy lentils
Lens culinaris. Fabaceae. Leguminosae/
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. Lactuca. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster 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. Phaseolus. Leguminosae/
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.
Luffa Luffa aegyptiaca. Luffa. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. Excellent source of vitamin A and carbohydrates.
Maca / Maka
Lepidium meyenii. Lepidium. Brassicaceae (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.
Maize Zea mays. Zea. Poaceae. Grass 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. Cucumis. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. See also Cantaloupe.
Mustard greens Brassica juncea. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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. Abelmoschus. Malvaceae. Mallow 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.
Onion Allium cepa. Allium. Amarylidaceae. Allium family, Cultivated garlic. Originated in Middle-Asia.
Pak choi / Pak choy
Brassica rapa subspecies chinensis. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Parsley Petroselinum crispum. Petroselinum. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family. Curly parsley has less flavor and is often used as garnish.
Parsnip Pastinaca sativa. Pastinaca. Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). Umbellifers family, Celery family, Carrot family, parsley family. Root vegetable, closely related to carrot and parsley.
Pasilla chili pepper / Chile negro Capsicum annuum. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Vicia. Leguminosae/
Fabaceae (US).
Legumes, Pea family. Edible seeds of legume crop.
Peanut / Groundnut / Earthnuts
Arachis hypogaea. Arachis. Leguminosae/
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. Physalis. Solanaceae. Nightshades family, potato family. Physalis is one of the vegetable family names that has many other common names. See also Goldenberry.
Pepino melon
Solanum muricatum. Solanum. Solanaceae. Nightshades family, potato family. edible skin but also easy to peel.
Pimiento / Pimiento / Cherry chili pepper Capsicum annuum. Capsicum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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.
Potato Solanum tuberosum. Solanum. Solanaceae. Nightshades family, potato family. Potatoes contain lots of starch (carbs) so they are used like rice, pasta and bread.
Pumpkin
Cucurbita Cucurbita. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. Scientifically pumpkins are fruit because they contain seeds. Also see Squash.
Quinoa Chenopodium quinoa. Chenopodium. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family. Mainly grown as grain crop for its edible white, red and black seeds.
Radish Raphanus raphanistrum subspecies sativus. Raphanus. Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family. edible root vegetable popular in salads.
Rapeseed (oil) Brassica napus. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Rhubarb Rheum rhabarbarum. Rheum. Polygonaceae. Buckwheat 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. Eruca. Brassicaceae. Crucifer 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. Lactuca. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster 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. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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.
Safflower Carthamus tinctorius. Carthamus. Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Safflower is Thistle-like and commercially grown for oil from seeds.
Salsify Tragopogon porrifolius. Tragopogon. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster vegetable family names: Composite family, Daisy family, sunflower family. Salsify is a light skinned edible root with herbal uses.
Shallot Allium cepa variety aggregatum. Allium. Amarylidaceae. Allium family, Cultivated garlic. Shallots are a type of onion rather than a separate species.
Soybean / Soya bean
Glycine max. Glycine. Leguminosae/
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. Spinacia. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth 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.
Squash Cucurbita Cucurbita. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits 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 beet Beta vulgaris subspecies vulgaris convariety vulgaris variety altissima. Beta. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth vegetable family names: Goosefoot family, Beetroot family. Sugar beet is grown commercially for the high concentration of sucrose in its root.
Sunflower Helianthus Helianthus. Asteraceae / Compositae. Aster 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 potato Ipomoea batatas. Ipomoea. Convolvulaceae. Morning glory family. Sweet potato is a sweet tasting root vegetable with edible young leaves and shoots.
Chard / White beet / Silverbeet / Strawberry spinach Beta vulgaris subspecies vulgaris. Beta. Amaranthaceae. Amaranth 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 tomato Solanum betaceum. Solanum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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. Physalis. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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.
Tomato Solanum lycopersicum. Solanum. Solanaceae. Nightshades 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.
Turnip Brassica rapa subspecies rapa. Brassica. Brassicaceae (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. Lepidium. Brassicaceae (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. Wasabia. Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). Crucifer family, Cabbage family, Mustard family. Wasabi is related to Horseradish and Mustard.
Watercress Nasturtium officinale. Rorippa. Brassicaceae (Cruciferae). Crucifer family, Mustard family. Watercress Peppery green leaves richer in Vitamin C than Orange. Anti-cancer and immune system boosting properties.
Watermelon Citrullus lanatus. Citrullus. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits family, Gourd family. Watermelon was originally from Africa. Watermelon is the state vegetable of Oklahoma.
Wax gourd / Winter melon / Pai Gua Benincasa hispida. Benincasa. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits 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. Agropyron. Poaceae. Cucurbits 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 lace Daucus carota. Daucus. Apiaceae (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. Cucurbita. Cucurbitaceae. Cucurbits 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.

ADDucation Lists Related to Vegetable Family Names:


8 responses to “Vegetable Family Names”

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Samantha Coronado says:

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

  5. 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.
    .

    • 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.

  6. 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.

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