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Brassica rapa (Rapifera Group)

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
BRAS-ih-ka RAY-puh
Description

Turnips are a root vegetable in the mustard family and are grown as an edible food crop for both their green tops and the root. They can be grown in spring or fall but are the best tasting as a fall crop. Seeds can be sown mid-summer for a fall crop. The root itself comes in various colors from yellow to white with or without red or purple at the top. They can also be round or flattish. Young leaves are great in a salad or older leaves can be sautéed. The genus name Brassica is Latin for cabbage.

Grow this plant in fertile, moist well-drained soil in full sun and water as needed to keep the soil lightly moist. They germinate quickly and mature in about 8 weeks. Turnip roots taste the best if grown in moist conditions and are picked young, before the diameter reaches 2". They are also sweeter after a light fall frost or planted as a mid-summer crop.

Insufficient water, lack of fertilizer or delayed harvesting can cause the plant to become woody.  The best flavor is acquired when the soil is kept moist.  Insufficient water, lack of fertilizer or delayed harvesting can cause the plant to become woody.  

Problems, Pests and Diseases: Insects that can be found include aphids, whiteflies, flea beetles, and caterpillars such as cabbage loopers, cutworms, and beet army worms. Slugs and snails may also be a problem. Diseases include club root, white rust, leaf spot, and rots such as damping off and bacterial soft rot.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Just Right’
  • ‘Purple Top White Globe’
  • ‘Yellow Globe’
    Golden roots
‘Just Right’, ‘Purple Top White Globe’, ‘Yellow Globe’
Tags:
#annual#edible plant#vegetable garden#edible roots#vegetable#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Just Right’
  • ‘Purple Top White Globe’
  • ‘Yellow Globe’
    Golden roots
‘Just Right’, ‘Purple Top White Globe’, ‘Yellow Globe’
Tags:
#annual#edible plant#vegetable garden#edible roots#vegetable#edible leaves#cool season vegetable#annual vegetable#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Brassica
    Species:
    rapa
    Family:
    Brassicaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Edible vegetable.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Biennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
    Play Value:
    Easy to Grow
    Edibility:
    Root and leaves are edible raw or cooked
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vegetable
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    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 Type:
    Siliqua
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are in the form of a siliqua with a long tapering beak. They appear on ascending pedicels. Contain blackish or red-brown seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small yellow 4-petaled flowers
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are generally light green and slightly hairy. They are an elongated oval, with toothed or wavy edges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Problems:
    Frequent Insect Problems
    Problem for Horses