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Brassica napus

Pronunciation: Bras-ee-ka nap-us
Family: Brassicaceae/cruciferae (cabbage family)
Common Name: Rutabaga, swedish turnip, canola, rape
Plant Type:
  • fruits, vegetables
Height to: 4'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • Not apply
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: Rutabagas are like turnips except that the flesh of the edible root (swollen stem) is a little less watery, a little milder, and usually yellow, although there are some white fleshed varieties (e. G. , 'merrick'). The leaves are bluish-green and smooth, unlike turnip leaves which are light green and hairy. Siberian kale is very much like true kale, and the seed is often sold in garden centers simply as "kale. " it is more heat tolerant and more cold tolerant than true kale, grows a little larger, and tastes just as good.
Propagation: Seeds are sown in place. Plant rutabaga 4-6 in (10. 2-15. 2 cm) apart in rows 30 in (76. 2 cm) apart. Siberian kale can be planted closer together or in wide rows like spinach or kale. Canola seed is either broadcast at 20 pounds (9 kg) per acre, or planted in rows 28 in (71 cm) apart at four pounds (1. 8 kg) per acre.
Native to: It is believed that brassica napus originated from a fortuitous hybridization between the turnip (b. Rapa) and kale (b. Oleracea acephala), probably in european gardens during the middle ages. Canola, a selected genetic variant of rape, was developed in the late 1970's in manitoba, canada, as a more nutritious source of vegetable oil than rapeseed.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - rutabagas are hardier than turnips, easily tolerating temperatures down to 15ºf (-9. 4ºc). Siberian kale, rape and canola also are hardy to temperatures in the mid to low twenties. In the south, all b. Napus varieties are grown in the winter. In the north, early spring plantings produce crops before summer heat causes them to bolt to flower. The flavor of rutabaga and of siberian kale is enhanced by frost. Rutabagas are common table fare in northern europe. They can be baked, mashed, fried, added to soups and stews, or eaten raw. Scandinavians brush rutabagas with oil and bake until tender, then cut them open and insert some cheese before serving. Fresh from the garden, raw rutabaga, with a little salt, is an excellent snack. Care: rutabagas require about 90 days to reach harvestable size. Individual leaves of siberian kale can be picked beginning about 30 days after planting.
Seed photo: 1
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