Flora of Northern Ireland
Brassica rapa
© Roy Anderson
Brassica rapa
(Map updated: March 2008)

This species is much confused with rape and swede (Brassica napus subsp. oleifera and subsp. rapifera), partly because of the similarity of the latin name rapa to the English name 'rape', partly because swedes are often mistakenly called turnips, but mostly because of the great similarity of the two species in flowers, leaves and overall appearance.

It is common in the wild as an escape from cultivation and as a weed of disturbed ground. All these 'wild' plants are ultimately escapes from cultivation, but this species, unlike rape, seems to be naturalized in a few places such as around White Head in Co. Antrim at the mouth of Belfast Lough, where it is abundant on unstable chalky slopes above the seashore.

All names: Brassica rapa L.; Brassica campestris L.