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Rape Brassica napus

Other plants called Rape:

Previously known as:

  • Brassica napobrassica
Description

Brassica napus, or Rutabega, is an herbacious biennial grown primarily as a large annual root vegetable for its edible root and greens. It is believed to be a hybrid of a turnip (Brassica rapa) and a cabbage (Brassica oleracea) and is native to Scandinavia and Russia. Compared to turnips, Rutabagas are bigger, rounder, and firmer, with a slightly bitter taste. The taproot of the plant is an almost perfectly round bulbous tuber that is purple, white, or yellow with yellow flesh. The Rutabega is cold hardy and can be grown in the early spring for summer harvest or in summer for fall harvest. Soil pH should be between 6 and 6.5.

Rutabega is typically grown for fall harvest because the tuberous roots need cool temperatures for harvest of the best crop and the roots are slow to mature. For fall harvest, sow seed about 100 days before first fall frost in rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart. Harvest in fall after light frost (mulch to protect roots from low temperatures of late fall) when roots are about 3 to 5 inches in diameter. Frost typically sweetens maturing rutabagas. Rutabagas can be left in the ground until needed, but can become woody if left too long. 

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Clubroot is a significant problem. It will not only destroy the crop, but the spores can remain in the soil for 20 years. Other issues include powdery mildew, alternaria, root knot, anthracnose and leaf spot. Potential insect issues include aphids, loopers, root maggots, cutworms, flea beetles, and wireworms.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Acadia'
    purple above ground, sometimes bronze
  • 'American Purple Top'
    yellow flesh, purple crown/shoulders
  • 'Bristol White'
    white shoulder
  • 'Colbaga (NH W62)'
    new, white flesh, roots red below soil
  • 'Laurentian'
    purple crown, yellow flesh
  • 'Marian'
    purple top, yellow flesh, short wide leaves
  • 'Pike'
    similar to Laurentian
  • 'Sioux'
    similar to American Purple Top, blight resistant
  • 'Strafford'
    purple blush, similar to Bristol White
  • 'Wilhelmsburger (Nappan Swede)'
    green leaves often have reddish tint
  • 'York'
    pale yellow flesh, clubroot resistant veersion of Laurentian
'Acadia', 'American Purple Top', 'Bristol White', 'Colbaga (NH W62)', 'Laurentian', 'Marian', 'Pike', 'Sioux', 'Strafford', 'Wilhelmsburger (Nappan Swede)', 'York'
Tags:
#vegetable garden#edible roots#vegetable#edible garden#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Acadia'
    purple above ground, sometimes bronze
  • 'American Purple Top'
    yellow flesh, purple crown/shoulders
  • 'Bristol White'
    white shoulder
  • 'Colbaga (NH W62)'
    new, white flesh, roots red below soil
  • 'Laurentian'
    purple crown, yellow flesh
  • 'Marian'
    purple top, yellow flesh, short wide leaves
  • 'Pike'
    similar to Laurentian
  • 'Sioux'
    similar to American Purple Top, blight resistant
  • 'Strafford'
    purple blush, similar to Bristol White
  • 'Wilhelmsburger (Nappan Swede)'
    green leaves often have reddish tint
  • 'York'
    pale yellow flesh, clubroot resistant veersion of Laurentian
'Acadia', 'American Purple Top', 'Bristol White', 'Colbaga (NH W62)', 'Laurentian', 'Marian', 'Pike', 'Sioux', 'Strafford', 'Wilhelmsburger (Nappan Swede)', 'York'
Tags:
#vegetable garden#edible roots#vegetable#edible garden#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Brassica
    Species:
    napus
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    root vegetable, vegetable oil, animal feed
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Skandanavia and Russia
    Distribution:
    Northern United States and Europe, Canada and Great Britian
    Wildlife Value:
    attracts pollinators
    Edibility:
    The root is used as a vegetable, and, the foliage can be used as greens. The oil contained in the seed of some varieties of this species can be rich in erucic acid which is toxic. However, modern cultivars have been selected which are almost free of erucic acid.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    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, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The flowers form a sickle-shaped pod with tiny round seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The plant produces small 1/2 inch light yellow flowers clustered at the top of a raceme.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Pinnatisect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves grow from a stout and swollen stem that is close to the ground and forms the crown of the plant. The leaves are thick and lobed with a bluish tint.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stout and swollen, close to the ground and it forms the crown of the plant.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds