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Brassica napus Napobrassica Group

rutabaga

Selected for its round, swollen roots/stem, this cultivated group originates from a wild plant ancestor - a cross between cabbage and turnip. It is commonly known and eaten as swede or rutabaga. Swedes are usually purple at the top and cream-yellow beneath ground. Smooth, green leaves form a tight, rosette-like bunch. The roots store well in winter and when cooked, they have sweet, nutty flavour. If left growing into the second year, the plant will produce yellow, mustard-like flowers. Various named cultivars are available, varing in size, shape and colour

Other common names
swede
swedish turnip
Synonyms
Brassica napobrassica
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
1 year
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter Cream Purple Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

East–facing or North–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Brassicaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Tufted, Columnar upright
Genus

Brassicas can be annual, biennial or perennial plants, most are upright with alternate, often glaucous leaves, long taproots and clusters of cross-shaped, yellow or white flowers. The genus includes a number of species bred to produce food crops, such as cabbages, turnips, mustards and oilseed rape, as well as others grown for their ornamental value

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in full sun in firm, fertile soil - including coastal regions. For more advice see swede cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed. See sowing vegetable seeds

Suggested planting locations and garden types
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

May be susceptible to flea beetle when young, caterpillars of small white butterflies, cabbage root fly, pigeons and mealy cabbage aphid

Diseases

May be susceptible to brassica downy mildew and brassica white blister. In areas where brassicas have been grown before, club root can build up in the soil

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