Green vegetables come in all shapes and sizes. Common types of green vegetables are green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus. There are also plenty of green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and lettuce that are incredibly tasty and healthy. There are also green vegetables like peas, cucumbers, and avocado that are actually types of green fruits or legumes.
What are some of the tastiest types of green vegetables to add to your diet? This article contains descriptions of green vegetables, leafy green vegetables, and the types of green fruit we consume like vegetables.
What Vegetables Are Green in Color?
Green vegetables are classified into several categories or families. For example, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are cruciferous vegetables. Celery and asparagus are edible plant stems. Cucumbers and zucchini are classed as marrows, scallions are in the allium family, and spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are leafy greens.
Green vegetables are excellent foods you can include in your diet — raw or cooked. Here is a list of green vegetables, including some of the most common types of greens, as well as some more unusual green vegetables.
Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica)
Broccoli is a green vegetable belonging to the cabbage family Brassicaceae. This edible green plant has a recognizable flowering head, consisting of stalked florets. Broccoli’s large flower head is dark to medium green, and cutting the vegetable reveals a light green to yellowish center. Typically, broccoli grows 18” to 30” (45 – 76 cm) tall.
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea)
Cabbage is a common edible green vegetable related to kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Green cabbage is the type most used in slaws and cooking. The green vegetable has a large, rounded head consisting of tightly packed yellowish-green to dark green leaves.
Here are two more varieties of cabbages:
Savoy cabbage: A round, green-colored cabbage with crinkled, lacy leaves. Savoy cabbages have a milder taste than traditional green cabbages. They are delicious in salads, braised in butter, or used in stir-fries.
Chinese cabbage: This light green vegetable is also called napa cabbage. The vegetable has a mild flavor with a slightly peppery taste. The cabbage is identified by its light green leaves and thick white stalk.
A Brussels sprout looks like a miniature cabbage measuring on average 1”(2.5 cm) in diameter. Like cabbage, Brussels sprouts are cruciferous green vegetables in the family Brassicaceae. The small green leafy balls grow on stiff stalks growing 24” to 47” (60 – 120 cm) tall, with many sprouts on a single stem.
Green Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Green beans are long, slender green vegetables consumed with their edible pods. The pencil-like vegetable pods measure on average 5” (12.7 cm) long. They are usually cut into smaller sections to use in cooking. Green beans are the unripe fruits of the common bean plant.
Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
Green bell pepper is a crunchy green vegetable with a sweet taste. Bell peppers are a type of green berry used as a vegetable. It has a barrel shape with three or four lobes around its base. Green bell peppers usually measure between 2” and 5” (5 to 13 cm) tall.
The most common colors of bell peppers are green, red, and yellow.
An unusual type of green vegetable is green cauliflower. This type of cauliflower has the characteristics of a standard cauliflower apart from its lime green head or curd. Like white cauliflower, the edible green vegetable has a densely packed head of green florets.
Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum)
Leeks are tall green vegetables that are members of the genus Allium. Leeks have broad, flat green basal leaves growing in sheaths from a white bulb. Leeks typically grow 6” to 10” (15 – 25 cm) tall, and their thick green leaves form a cylinder-like vegetable 2” (5 cm) in diameter.
Scallions or Green Onion (Allium cepa)
Scallions have a small white onion bulb and long green tubular leaves growing directly from the bulb. The tubular leaves grow up to 18” (45 cm) tall and are relatively stiff or soft depending on the variety. Because of their green leaves, scallions are also called green onions.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Cucumbers are a type of green pepo — a type of berry. Cucumbers typically have a cylindrical shape with tapered ends. Depending on the variety, the green skin can be smooth or bumpy. Also, cucumbers range in size from 4” to 24” (10 – 61 cm) long and up to 4” (10 cm) in diameter.
Green cucumbers are also classified by their use. Therefore, there are slicing cucumbers — long green vegetables with smooth skin. And pickling cucumbers — shorter, stouter vegetables with bumpy green skin.
Zucchini is a green vegetable with a cylindrical shape like a cucumber. Zucchini crops are a type of green berry used as a vegetable. The marrow plant is usually around 6” – 10” (15 – 25 cm) long with a rounded end. Typically, zucchini is cooked before eating.
Celery (Apium graveolens)
Celery is a type of green vegetable with edible stems. The erect pale green plant’s fibrous stems are a crescent shape on the cross-section. The curved, convex side has a ribbed, light green appearance, and the inner, concave side is smooth and pale green to white. Celery grows up to 18” (45 cm) tall.
Celery can be consumed raw when chopped into thin slices and added to salads. Or it can be added to soups, stews, or casseroles.
Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)
The globe artichoke is a perennial vegetable plant that looks like a thistle and grows up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. The edible part of the artichoke is the “heart” in the center of the sizable scaly flower head. When in bloom, the globe artichoke has a purple flower consisting of fine staminal filaments.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)
Okra is a type of vegetable grown for its tender, edible seed pods. The green vegetables typically grow 2” to 6” (5 – 15 cm) long. The green pods look like large bean pods and have slender, tapered ends. Edible okra pods are known for the mucilaginous texture that naturally thickens gumbos, soups, and stews.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)
Asparagus is a perennial flowering vegetable with edible green shoots and leaves. The edible part of the delicious green vegetable usually grows 3.5” (9 cm) long and is up to 0.6” (1.6 cm) in diameter. However, asparagus can grow 40” to 60” (100 – 152 cm) tall.
Avocado (Persea americana)
Avocado is a green, pear-like vegetable with a dark green to black bumpy skin, buttery green flesh, and a large stone in the center. Botanically, avocado is a large berry used as a savory vegetable. The green berry vegetable can grow between 3” and 8” (7 – 20 cm) long.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel is a vegetable with green leaves and stalks and an aromatic white bulb. The yellow flowers, stalks, green fruits, and feathery green leaves of the fennel plant are used as herbs for their anise or licorice flavor. Fennel plants grow up to 8 ft. (2.5 m) tall.
Green Peas (Pisum sativum)
Green peas belong to the legume family, and they are usually sold as a vegetable. Like all legumes, green peas grow in a long seed pod containing several round fruits or peas. The annual vegetables grow on vines and can reach up to 7 ft. (2.1 m) tall.
Types of Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens are popular vegetables for their taste, and because they’re packed with nutrients and vitamins. There are many types of leafy green vegetables available, here are just a few of the most popular.
Kale is a green leafy cabbage with large crinkly leaves and a peppery taste. Unlike cabbage, kale doesn’t form a head, but has large green leaves growing in a rosette shape. Varieties of kale are classified by the leaf shape — curly leaf, bumpy-leaf, plain-leaf, and spear kale.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)
Spinach is a popular leafy green vegetable with dark green, ovate leaves growing up to 12” (30 cm) long. The standard way to prepare spinach leaves is by steaming them to reduce oxalate levels. Like many leafy greens, spinach is high in vitamin K.
Microgreens are the immature cotyledon leaves of edible vegetables. The tiny, tender shoots usually have an intense flavor and add a tasty green garnish to many dishes. Microgreens can be grown from many types of vegetables, including carrots, broccoli, herbs, beets, and cabbage.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
Lettuce is an annual leafy green vegetable that is used fresh in salads. There are many types of lettuce, each with its own characteristics, taste, texture, and appearance.
Bok Choy (Brassica rapa)
Bok choy or pak choi is a type of cabbage popular in Asian cuisine. This green leafy vegetable has green leaves growing from a bulbous base. Usually, the plant is used as a vegetable in stir-fries.
Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris)
Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable with brightly colored red stalks. The nutritious green ribbed leaves can be used raw in salads or chopped up and added to stir-fries, boiled, or sautéed. The bitter taste of Swiss chard leaves diminishes with cooking.
Watercress is a small leafy green vegetable with round dark green leaves that have a spicy flavor. Watercress grows as a semi-aquatic cruciferous vegetable and is related to radish, mustard, and wasabi.