The FLC gene product is an inhibitor of flowering in Arabidopsis. FLC homologs in Brassica species are thought to control vernalization. We cloned four FLC homologs (BoFLCs) from Brassica oleracea. Three of these, BoFLC1, BoFLC3 and BoFLC5, have been previously characterized. The fourth novel sequence displayed 98% sequence homology to the previously identified gene BoFLC4, but also showed 91% homology to BrFLC2 from Brassica rapa. Phylogenetic analysis showed that this clone belongs to the FLC2 clade. Therefore, we designated this gene BoFLC2. Based on the segregation of RFLP, SRAP, CAPS, SSR and AFLP loci, a detailed linkage map of B. oleracea was constructed in the F(2) progeny obtained from a cross of B. oleracea cv. Green Comet (broccoli; non-vernalization type) and B. oleracea cv. Reiho (cabbage; vernalization type), which covered 540 cM, 9 major linkage groups. Six quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling flowering time were detected. BoFLC1, BoFLC3 and BoFLC5 were not linked to the QTLs controlling flowering time. However, the largest QTL effect was located in the region where BoFLC2 was mapped. Genotyping of F(2 )plants at the BoFLC2 locus showed that most of the early flowering plants were homozygotes of BoFLC-GC, whereas most of the late- and non-flowering plants were homozygotes of BoFLC-Rei. The BoFLC2 homologs present in plants of the non-vernalization type were non-functional, due to a frameshift in exon 4. Moreover, duplications and deletions of BoFLC2 were detected in broccoli and a rapid cycling line, respectively. These results suggest that BoFLC2 contributes to the control of flowering time in B. oleracea.