Oil-seed Rape - Brassica napus subsp. oleifera

Alternative names

The familiar garish yellow crop that is grown across many fields in Britain but now commonly found growing wild. It grows to 1.5 metres though is frequently smaller. The flowers are slightly over-topped by the buds and the greyish leaves clasp the stem.

Similar Species

Brassica rapa and B. oleraceus (turnip and cabbage)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stem-leaves clasp stem at base, more or less glaucous/hairless; long seed pods, sticking out from stem, with beak; one row in reach valve (= 2 rows); each valve has one vein; buds slightly overtop flowers, forming 'dome'.

Recording advice

Photos of whole plant in habitat, plus close up of flower head showing seed pods, buds and open flowers


Waysides and field borders in arable countryside.

When to see it

March - September

Life History

Oil-seed Rape is widely grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel.

UK Status

Common as a wildflower growing away from crop fields.

VC55 Status


In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien, occasional, but frequent as planted crop

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Rape, Oil Seed Rape, Oil-seed Rape, Oilseed Rape
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
28/04/2012 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
26/04/2023 (Gaten, Ted)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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