Turnip - Brassica rapa

Alternative names
Wild Turnip

Similar in appearance to Oil-seed Rape but the yellow flowers of Brassica rapa overtop the buds. The upper leaves are grey and clasp the stem the basal leaves are greener and bristly. Plants exist as basal rosettes until flowering stems develop at maturity, usually in the second year. The lower leaves are large (up to 12 inches).

Similar Species

Brassica napus subsp oleifera, B. oleraceus (rape and cabbage)

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Stem-leaves clasp stem at base, green and hairy/bristly; long seed pods, sticking out from stem, with beak; one row in reach valve (= 2 rows); each valve has one vein; flowers overtop buds slightly, forming concave 'bowl'.

Recording advice

The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


Arable land, waste places, streamsides usually as a non persistent casual.

When to see it

Flowers May to August.

Life History

Annual or biennial.

UK Status

Occasional - widespread over most of Britain.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland, usually as a non persistent casual. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 59 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Alien, occasional

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map