Brassica rapa

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Brassica rapa
Brassica rapa plant.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. rapa
Binomial name
Brassica rapa

Brassica rapa L. is a plant consisting of various widely cultivated subspecies including the turnip (a root vegetable); napa cabbage, bomdong, bok choy, and cime di rapa (leaf vegetables) and (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera, an oilseed which has many common names, including field mustard, bird rape, keblock, and colza).[1][2][3][4][5][6]

The oil made from the seed is sometimes also called canola,[1] which is one reason why it is sometimes confused with rapeseed oil, but this comes from a different Brassica species (Brassica napus). The oilseeds known as canola are sometimes particular varieties of Brassica rapa (termed Polish Canola) but usually the related species Brassica napus (rapeseed) and Brassica juncea (mustard greens and mizuna).[7]

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have selectively bred one subspecies of B. rapa to have an extremely short life cycle for use as a model organism in education and experiment. This variety is known by the trademarked name "Wisconsin Fast Plants."[8]


In the 18th century the turnip and the oilseed-producing variants were seen as being different species by Carl Linnaeus who named them B. rapa and B. campestris. 20th-century taxonomists found that the plants were cross fertile and thus belonged to the same species. Since the turnip had been named first by Linnaeus, the name Brassica rapa was adopted.[9]

Many butterflies, including the small white, pollinate the B. rapa flowers.


Cultivar Image Name
Bok choy Baby Pak Choi (01).JPG Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis
Bomdong Bomdong cabbage.jpg Brassica rapa var. glabra
Choy sum Choi Sum stalks.JPG Brassica rapa subsp. parachinensis
Field Mustard Brassica rapa ja02.jpg Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera
Komatsuna Komatsuna.jpg Brassica rapa subsp. perviridis
Napa cabbage Čínské zelí.jpg Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
Rapini Rapini.jpg Brassica rapa var. rapifera
Tatsoi Tatsoi.jpg Brassica rapa subsp. narinosa
Turnip Turnip 2622027.jpg Brassica rapa subsp. rapa
Yellow Sarson Sarsoon Ka Saag Fresh.JPG Brassica rapa subsp. trilocularis


  1. ^ a b "Brassica rapa L. subsp. oleifera (DC.) Metzg.". GRIN Taxonomy for Plants. Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera". Turnip Rape. EOL. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Clive Stace (1997). New Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge. ISBN 978-0-521-58935-2. 
  4. ^ Bailey's Dictionary (5th reprint ed.). 1731. 
  5. ^ Doreathea Hurst (1889). History and Antiquities Of Horsham. Farncombe & Co. 
  6. ^ "Brassica rapa". Bioimages. 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  7. ^ "Chapter 2 – Canola Varieties". Canola Grower's Manual. Canada Council of Canada. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Wisconsin Fast Plants of the University of Wisconsin: Homepage". Wisconsin Fast Plants®. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  9. ^ Phil Thomas, ed. (2003). "Canola Varieties". Canola Growers Manual. Canola Council of Canada. [dead link]

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