Brassica rapa

Common Names: Rape, field mustard, bird rape, keblock, colza
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Mustard family

A biennial herb with swollen tuberous white-fleshed taproot, lacking a neck; leaves light to medium green, hairy or bristly, stalked, lyrate-pinnatifid, 30 to 50 cm long, stem-leaves sometimes glaucous with clasping base; flowers bright yellow, sepals spreading: petals 6 to 10 mm long, those in anthesis close together and commonly overtopping the unopened buds; outer 2 stamens curved outwards at base and much shorter than inner stamens; fruit 4 to 6.5 cm long, with long tapering beak, on divaricate-ascending pedicels 3.2 to 6.5 cm long; seeds blackish or reddish-brown, 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter.

The cultivars are often found in vegetable gardens. Otherwise, near roadsides, waste areas, meadows, fields, and other areas where weeds are common.

Edible Notes: There are 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 used to produce canola oil. Most wild plants would generally not be considered very palatable. Special cultivars are produced to created canola oil that is safe for human consumption.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings