Across the world, more than 10,000 species of plants are grown as a vegetable out of which approximately 50 plant species are used for commercial vegetable cultivation. it is therefore very important to classifying them into different group to understand the relationship of cultural requirements and to ease the understandability about there adaptability under different  agro-climatic conditions  Hence the  vegetable crops are classified under different groups like ;

  1. Classification of vegetables based on the season
  2. Classification of Vegetables based on parts used as food:
  3. Classification of vegetables based on the method of cultivation
  4. Classification of vegetables based on hardiness
  5. Classification of vegetable crops according to soil reaction
  6. Classification of vegetables based on salt tolerance
  7. Classification of vegetables according to the cultural method
  8. Botanical Classification


A )Classification of vegetables based on season:

According to general temperature requirement, vegetable crop can be grouped as follows:

(i) Rabi Season (Duration: Mid. October to Mid. March):

Potato, Cabbage, Cauiflower, Knolkhol. Tomato, Brinjal (Winter), Radish, Beet, Carrot, Turnip, Spinach. Bottle gourd (Winter). Pea, Onion, Lettuce etc.

(ii) Kharif Season (Duration: Mid. June to Mid. October):

Brinjal (Rainy). Chilli, Gourd, Pumpkin. Cucumber, Pointed gourd, Snake gourd, Bitter gourd, Ridge gourd, Bottle gourd (Rainy), Sponge gourd, Lady’s finger etc.

(iii) Zaid Season (Duration: Mid. March to Mid. June):

Brinjal (Summer), Lady’s finger, Bitter gourd (small). Watermelon, Muskmelon, Bottle gourd (Summer), Pumpkin (Summer), etc. 

C) Classification of Vegetables based on parts used as food:

In this system of classification, vegetables are grouped according to the parts which are caten. Viz.

(1) Root vegetables: Radish, Carrot, Beet, Turnip, Sweet Potato etc.

(ii) Stem vegetables: Potato, Onion, Garlic, Arum, Artichoke, Yam, Tumeric, Asparagus, etc


(iii) Leafy Vegetables: Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Brussels sprout, Lettuce, Leek, Methi (Fenugreek), Spinach, Poi, Bathua, Coriander, etc.

(iv) Flower: Cauliflower, Sprouting broccoli, Roselle, Globe-artichoke, etc.

(v) Fruit Vegetables:

 (a) Mature Fruit: Tomato, Water melon, Musk melon, Pumpkin, etc.

 (b) Immature Fruit: Brinjal, Lady’s finger, Cucumber, Pea, Guar Sem, Broad bean, Pointed gourd, Summer Squash, Snake gourd, Bottle gourd etc.

 D) Classification of vegetables based on the method of cultivation:

In teaching principles of vegetables growing, this system of classification has been found more satisfactory than others. It is based on essential methods of culture and in this system, all vegetable crops having ” requirement are grouped together. Such as: 

Group 1. Perennial Vegetable Crops

Asparagus, Artichoke, Jerusalem, Seakale, Rhubarb etc.


Group 2. Pot Herbs or Green Vegetables

Spinach, New Zealand spinach. Mustard, Amaranthus etc.

Group 3. Salad Crops

Lettuce, Celery, Parsley, Cress, Endive etc. 

Group 4. Cole Crops

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Bruseels Sprouts, Broccoli,

Chinese Cabbage, Knolkhol etc. 

Group 5. Root Crops

Radish, Carrot, Beet, Turnip, Horse radish,

Sweet potato etc.

 Group 6. Tuber Crops

Potato, yam etc. 

Group 7. Bulb Crops

Onion, Garlic, Leck, Shallot etc. 

Group 8. Peas and Beans

Pea, Bean, Cowpea, Broad bean, Common bean, Garden

bean, Soyabean, Lima bean, etc.

 Group 9. Solanaceous fruit vegetables

Brinjal (Egg Plant), Tomato, Chilli (pepper) etc. Group


Group 10. Cucurbitaceous Vegetables


Pumpkin, Gourds, Squash, Cucumber, Pointed gourd, Watermelon, Musk melon, Bottle gourd, Spong gourd, Ridge gourd etc.

Group 11. Malvaceous Fruit Crop

Lady’s finger (Bhendi or Okra) etc.

 E) Classification of vegetables based on hardiness

Vegetable crops are often classified as hardy and tender. The hardy vegetables may tolerate ordinary frost without injury, while those classed as tender would be killed. This implies that frost injury is the main difference between hardy and tender vegetables, but there are other distinctions. Some of the hardy plants will not thrive well under hot dry condition Other withstand frost and also thrive during the hot weather of summer. Some tender vegetable crops do not thrive in cool weather even if no frost occurs. term cool season and warm season crops are used to suggest condition under which the crop grows best rather than their susceptibility to frost


Based on the temperature that the plant will withstand, the vegetable crops are grouped as:

(i) Hardy. It may be safely be planted before the date of the last killing, frost in the Spring. e.g. Radish, Turnip, Onion, Garlic, Leek, Cabbage, Knolkhol, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Asparagus, Peas, Rhubarbs etc.


(ii) Semi-hardy. It will not stand a hard frost, but will grow in cool weather and is not injured or even killed by a light frost, e.g. Carrot, Beel, Palak, Lettuce, Cauliflower, Potato, Celery, Globe artichoke, Parsnip etc.


(iii) Tender. It is injured or even killed by light frost, but withstand cool weather and soil. e.g. Brinjal, Tomato, Lady’s finger (Bhindi), Capsicum, Cowpea, Cucurbits, Sweet potato, Yams, Tapioca, Amaranthus, Cluster beans, Colocasia, Snap beans. etc.


(iv) Very Tender. It is injured by cool weather

This system of classification of vegetables may be useful for farmers, and seedsman to programme their planting schedule. 

F) Classification of vegetable crops according to soil reaction

The vegetable crops, according to their tolerance to acid soil, are grouped as follows:

(i) Slightly tolerant to acid soil (Ph 6.8 to 6.0)

Asparagus, Beet, Broccoli. Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Celery, Lettuce, Lady’s finger, Leek, Muskmelon, New Zealand spinach, Onion, Palak, Spinach etc.

(ii) Moderately tolerant to acid soil (Ph 6.8 to 5.5)

Brinjal, Bean, Brussels, Sprout, Carrot, Cucumber, Garlic, Horseradish Kholrabi, Pea, Pumpkin, Pepper, Parsley, Squash, Tomato, Turnip etc.

(iii) Highly tolerant to acid soil (6.8 to 5.0)

Potato, Sweet potato, Watermelon, Rhubarb, Endive etc.

G) Classification of vegetables based on salt tolerance

Vegetable crops may be classified according to their salt tolerance. it is particularly useful to choose the vegetable crops to be grown based on the salinity level of soil and availability of water of the locality. Rajasekaran and nammugevelu (1981) have identified vegetable crops for salt tolerance and grouped them as follows:

Tolerance Range (Molar concentration of NaCl)


           Range – 0.25 – Tomato, Snake gourd

       b)Medium tolerant

           i) Range – .05 – Cabbage , chilli,  Lady’s finger, Sweet-Potato 

           ii) Range – 0.75 – Amaranthus , Bottle gourd, Cauliflower,Onion,   



       c) Highly tolerant

           i) Range – 1.00 –  French bean, Ribbed gourd.

           ii) Range – 1.25 –  Ash gourd, Bitter gourd

H) Classification of vegetables according to the cultural method

This methods of classification may be useful to the growers only to a certain extent as their cultural requirements widely differ with each group. Vegetables are classified in these systems as follows:


(i) Direct sown crops: Radish, Carrot, Peas & beans, Cucurbits, Bulb crops, Beet, Lady’s finger etc.


(ii) Transplanted crop: Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brinjal, Tomato, Chillies, Knolkhol etc.


(iii) Planting bulb & rhizome: Onion, Garlic, Yam etc. (iv) Planting tubers

Potato etc.

(v) Planting Vines & Cuttings: Pointed Gourd (Parwal), Sweet Potato, Cassava etc.

I) Botanical Classification;

Botanical classification of plants is universally accepted This classification is based on various factors like; place of origin, morphological and cytological similarity and dissimilarity, floral structure, crossability etc. In this classification, plants are grouped in the kingdom , division, subdivision, phylum, Subphylum, order, family, Genera, Species, Subspecies, and variety.

This classification has little significance for the grower’s we can understand  this by the following  Example of botanical classification


Kingdom:     Plantae

Clade:   Tracheophytes

Clade:     Angiosperms

Clade:     Eudicots

Clade:     Asterids

Order:     Solanales

Family:     Solanaceae

Genus:       Solanum

Species:       S. tuberosum

Binomial name  ; 

Solanum tuberosum L


Kingdom:     Plantae

Clade:   Tracheophytes

Clade:   Angiosperms

Clade:   Eudicots

Clade:   Asterids

Order:   Solanales

Family:   Solanaceae

Genus:   Solanum

Species:   S. Lycopersicum

Binomial name 

 Solanum Lycopersicum L

In the above two examples, .we can see that potato and tomato belong to the same family but the cultural practices for both are different similarly we can find the same in other crops also.that is why this classification has less important for growers. But this classification is very important for students and Researchers.

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