Flora of Northern Ireland
Brassica napus
(Map updated: March 2008)

Rape (Brassica napus subsp. oleifera) is now a familiar part of the farming landscape because it is widely grown as an oil-seed crop and the fields of bright yellow flowers are one of the most conspicuous features of arable farming districts. Escapes from cultivation are frequent, but it can be confused with the very similar turnip (B. rapa), which seems to be a commoner plant in 'wild' situations. Naturalized populations are unknown (in contrast to B. rapa).

The Swedish turnip, or swede, (B. napus subsp. rapifera) also belongs to this species. It has a swollen root and is cultivated for animal and human consumption. It is often sold under the incorrect name of turnip in Northern Ireland, adding further to the confusion between these two species!

All names: Brassica napus L.; Brassica napobrassica (L.) Mill.; Brassica rutabaga (DC.) Briggs