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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 666–667. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library
 

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced

 

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4. Brassica rapa L. (field mustard, turnip, bird’s rape)

Pl. 315 j–k; Map 1327

Plants annual or biennial, hairy (at least on the developing leaves) or nearly glabrous, but not glaucous, the rootstock sometimes thickened and somewhat fleshy. Stems 20–120(–190) cm long. Basal and lower leaves often absent at flowering, 15–40(–60) cm long, irregularly pinnately divided or lobed into 3–9 irregularly toothed divisions, petiolate but sometimes with rounded auricles of tissue at the base, mostly obovate in outline. Stem leaves progressively reduced toward the tip, the uppermost 2–5 cm long, sessile, the bases clasping and with rounded auricles, linear to narrowly oblanceolate in outline. Flowers overtopping the buds. Sepals 3–6 mm long. Petals 0.7–1.0(–1.3) mm long, usually bright yellow. Fruits (20–)30–80(–110) mm long, ascending or spreading, circular in cross-section or nearly so, the slender, tapered beak (3–)10–25(–35) mm long. Seeds 16–30 per fruit, globose, 1.0–1.8 mm in diameter. 2n=20. April–September.

Introduced, widely scattered in Missouri (native of Europe, Asia, widely cultivated and commonly escaped in North America). Pastures, margins of crop fields, roadsides, railroads, and open, disturbed areas.

This species is one of the parents of B. napus, and it can be very difficult to distinguish from that taxon (see key). Many botanists divide this species into two varieties. The var. rapa, commonly known as turnip, is a biennial with a thickened, somewhat fleshy rootstock. In contrast, var. oleifera DC. (var. campestris (L.) Koch, B. campestris L.) is an annual with an unthickened taproot. As noted by Al-Shehbaz (1985), these differences tend not to be apparent in uncultivated plants.

 


 

 
 
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