What Is It? Wednesday- Heat Stress in Broccoli

Heat stress in broccoli plant.

Heat stress in broccoli plant.
Justin Ballew, ©2023, Clemson Extension

The different sized beads and color variation in this broccoli head is known as “cat eye,” where clusters of small, lighter-colored beads are surrounded by larger, darker-colored beads. This is a common symptom of heat stress in broccoli, which is more often seen in broccoli grown in the spring as temperatures heat up during head formation, especially if spring temperatures heat up quickly. The head pictured here would be unmarketable. Heat has been one of the biggest challenges to growing broccoli on the east coast; therefore, selecting heat-tolerant varieties (pg. 49) is extremely important when planning a broccoli crop.

For more information, see HGIC 1301, Broccoli.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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