Rape Brassica rapa, copyright Matt Lavin.

Belongs within: Brassicaceae.

Brassica is a genus of herbs native to Eurasia though some species have been introduced more or less worldwide through their cultivation for food (Hickman 1993). These include the versatile B. oleracea that, through selection of different varieties for different growth forms, has given rise to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohl rabi and other vegetables.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Annual, perennial; hairs simple. Stem erect, branched, glabrous above. Basal and lower cauline leaves petioled, dentate to pinnately lobed, lateral lobes shorter than terminal. Inflorescence terminal; bracts more or less absent. Flower with sepals erect; petals generally yellow. Fruit linear; valves 1-veined; beak conic or cylindric, with seeds absent or rarely 1–2. Seeds many, 1 row per chamber, spheric, finely to coarsely netted.

    |--B. adpressa C06
    |--B. balearica C55
    |--B. carinata GM96
    |--B. chinensis H90 [=B. napus var. chinensis PT01]
    |    |--B. c. var. chinensis P88
    |    `--B. c. var. parachinensis P88
    |--B. cretica PT98
    |    |--B. c. ssp. cretica PT98
    |    `--B. c. ssp. aegaea PT98
    |--B. fimbriata H90
    |--B. fruticulosa H90
    |--B. hilarionis D30
    |--B. insularis C55
    |--B. juncea M99
    |--B. napus M99 [incl. B. campestris var. oleifera C06, B. napus var. oleifera TG88]
    |--B. nigra M99
    |--B. oleracea Linnaeus 1753 CD07
    |    |--B. o. var. olereacea M99
    |    |--B. o. var. acephala LS96
    |    |--B. o. var. botrytis M99
    |    |--B. o. var. capitata M99
    |    |--B. o. var. gemmifera H90
    |    `--B. o. var. italica M99
    |--B. pekinensis BMM99
    |--B. rapa H93 [=B. campestris var. rapa C06; incl. B. campestris H93]
    |    |--B. r. var. rapa H90
    |    `--B. r. var. sylvestris H90
    |--B. rutabaga CS77
    |--B. sinapistrum C06
    `--B. tournefortii KM08

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BMM99] Braun, U., J. Mouchacca & E. H. C. McKenzie. 1999. Cercosporoid hyphomycetes from New Caledonia and some other South Pacific islands. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 297–327.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[CD07] Cantino, P. D., J. A. Doyle, S. W. Graham, W. S. Judd, R. G. Olmstead, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis & M. J. Donoghue. 2007. Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta. Taxon 56 (3): E1–E44.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CS77] Cramp, S., & K. E. L. Simmons (eds) 1977. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palaearctic vol. 1. Ostrich to Ducks. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

[D30] Druce, G. C. 1930. Account of a botanical tour in Cyprus. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 141: 50–52.

[GM96] Griffiths, A. J. F., J. H. Miller, D. T. Suzuki, R. C. Lewontin & W. M. Gelbart. 1996. An Introduction to Genetic Analysis 6th ed. W. H. Freeman and Company: New York.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[LS96] Liu, T.-X., & P. A. Stansly. 1996. Morphology of Nephaspis oculatus and Delphastus pusillus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), predators of Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 98 (2): 292–300.

[M99] Matthews, M. 1999. Heliothine Moths of Australia: A guide to bollworms and related noctuid groups. CSIRO Publishing.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[PT01] Pemberton, L. M. S., S.-L. Tsai, P. H. Lovell & P. J. Harris. 2001. Epidermal patterning in seedling roots of eudicotyledons. Annals of Botany 87: 649–654.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

[TG88] Tepfer, D., A. Goldmann, N. Pamboukdjian, M. Maille, A. Lepingle, D. Chevalier, J. Dénarié & C. Rosenberg. 1988. A plasmid of Rhizobium meliloti 41 encodes catabolism of two compounds from root exudate of Calystegium sepium. Journal of Bacteriology 170 (3): 1153–1161.

Last updated: 1 January 2022.

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