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Swede Brassica napus (Napobrassica Group)

Other plants called Swede:

Description

Brassica napus (Napobrassica Group) is referred to rutabaga in the United States.  The genus name Brassica is Latin for cabbage.  Rutabaga is a cross between turnips and cabbage.  It is not a widely used vegetable in the US due to the length of time needed to mature.  It can take 3 to 4 months to reach maturity, where their cousin plant, the turnip, can be grown in approximately half the time.  However, rutabaga tends to be larger, denser and sweeter than a turnip.

This cool-weather biennial is grown as an annual.  Sow seeds in your garden 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date.  It can also be sown after the summer heat has dissipated for a fall or early winter harvest.  

The edible bulb is at its best when harvested when 3-5" in diameter.  Bulbs exceeding 5" can tend to be tough.  The greens or foliage can be harvested once they reach a height of 4".  Providing the top of the bulb is not damaged when harvesting the greens, the bulb will continue to form new growth.  

Ensure that your plants receive 1" of water per week.  Drought conditions can make the plant woody and bitter tasting.  On the other hand, your harvest will have more flavor, be firmer and store better after a dry season than a wet one.  

There are several varieties available.  They include:

  • Altasweet, which has a mild flavor, less peppery flavor than other varieties.  They can take 90 to 100 days to maturity.  
  • American Purple Top, a popular variety.  It has large bulbs and maturity ranges from 90 to 100 days.
  • Laurentian,  is a sweet tasting Heirloom.  Maturity can be a bit longer, 90 to 120 days.
  • Pike is very similar to Laurentian, however, somewhat hardier.  100 to 120 days to maturity.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The largest issue is clubroot, a soil-born disease.  Should clubroot make a presence, avoid planting rutabaga in that location for at least 6 years.  

Flea beetles can damage the leaves.  Providing a row cover can help protect the greens.  A row cover can also help prevent moths from laying eggs on the leaves.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#edible plant#herbaceous#vegetable garden#cool temperatures#cool weather plant#vegetable#edible leaves#edible#herbaceous annual#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#edible bulbs#heat intolerant#drought intolerant#herbaceous bulb
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#edible plant#herbaceous#vegetable garden#cool temperatures#cool weather plant#vegetable#edible leaves#edible#herbaceous annual#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#edible bulbs#heat intolerant#drought intolerant#herbaceous bulb
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Brassica
    Species:
    napus
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Scandinavia, Finland
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Edible fruit
    Edibility:
    The roots/bulb and leaves are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vegetable
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits dry and split when ripe. They can range in color from yellow to purple to white. They are covered with a yellow flesh.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The light yellow flowers each have 4 petals. They are not raised above the unopened buds on the raceme.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The deep green leaves have a bluish hue, are deeply lobed and grow from the swollen root. They grow close to the ground.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden