Brassica napus (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Brassica napus L.

Family: Cruciferae

Major taxa and synonyms

  • Cv. group Colza. Synonyms: B. napus L. ssp. napus , B. napus L. var. napus, B. napus L. var. arvensis Thellung.
  • Cv. group Rutabaga. Synonyms: B. napus L. ssp. rapifera Metzger, B. napus L. var. napobrassica (L.) Reichb., B. oleracea L. var. napobrassica L.

Vernacular names

Cv. group Colza:

  • Colza, rape (seed) (En)
  • Colza (Fr).

Cv. group Rutabaga:

  • Rutabaga, swede (En)
  • Rutabaga, chou-navet (Fr).


Only known from cultivation, but sometimes escaped to the wild, mainly in Europe. Occasionally cultivated elsewhere, including South-East Asia.


  • Cv. group Colza: mainly cultivated for the oil of the seed, which is a valuable edible oil with many applications. Leaf-rich forms are also cultivated for their leaves, used as vegetable or as forage.
  • Cv. group Rutabaga: mainly cultivated for its edible tubers, eaten cooked or used as forage.


  • Annual or biennial herbs, up to 2 m tall.
  • Cultivars of the Rutabaga group develop a thick, subglobose, underground tuber with yellowish to whitish flesh.
  • Cultivars of the Colza group bear 4-12 or more, basal, lyrate-pinnatifid leaves.
  • Flowers yellow.
  • Ffruit a silique, 5-10 cm long with a slender beak.
  • Seeds in one row, globose, 1.5-3 mm in diameter, blackish.

Plants prefer a humid cool climate and will grow on any kind of soil. Propagation is by seed. Rotation with non-cruciferous crops is important to minimize diseases and pests.

Selected sources

5, 9, 39, 57, 66, 74, 81.