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

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map