Cabbage heads generally range from 0.5 to 4 kilograms (1 to 9 lb), and can be green, purple or white. Smooth-leafed, firm-headed green cabbages are the most common. Smooth-leafed purple cabbages and crinkle-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors are rarer. It is a multi-layered vegetable. Under conditions of long sunny days, such as those found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow quite large. As of 2012, the heaviest cabbage was 62.71 kilograms (138.25 lb).[
Cabbage was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century AD. By the Middle Ages, cabbage had become a prominent part of European cuisine. Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plant's life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year and must be kept separate from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as to multiple pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases.