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); the mizuna, napa cabbage, and cime di rapa (leaf vegetables); and the annual turnip rape (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 oilseed 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).[7]

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.[8]

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


  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. ^ Phil Thomas, ed. (2003). "Canola Varieties". Canola Growers Manual. Canola Council of Canada. [dead link]

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