Although Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) date back to ancient Rome, they’re named for the city of Brussels, Belgium, where they have been enjoyed for centuries. Part of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbage heads. They form on thick stems along with broad leaves. These leaves are also edible and can be prepared like other hardy greens. Brussels sprouts are slow-growing biennials (though commonly grown as annuals) that require a long growing season. They are typically planted in the summer for a fall to winter harvest.