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BRASSICA juncea 'Red Giant'

Image of Brassica juncea 'Red Giant'

James Burghardt

Family

Brassicaceae

Botanical Name

BRASSICA juncea 'Red Giant'

Plant Common Name

India Mustard, Red Giant Mustard

General Description

As the name suggests, ‘Red Giant’ is a large India mustard that produces impressive clusters of flavorful, burgundy red leaves. The mature leaves can be harvested as quickly as 48 days after sowing and add zest to salads, sandwiches and cooked dishes. Harvest after 25 days for baby greens.

India mustard is a fast growing, cool season annual or biennial that originates from Asia but has been introduced as a weed in many other parts of the world. It produces rosettes of large, oval, crinkled leaves. The reddish leaves are thin, lightly hairy and have wavy edges. It also produces a large, turnip-like taproot but this is rarely eaten. Warm weather causes plants to "bolt", or produce flowers. Clusters of four-petaled, pale yellow flowers appear atop waist-high stems. Crescent-shaped green pods filled with dark red-brown seeds follow the flowers. The dried pods split open to disperse the seeds.

This is an easy mustard crop for the south. Grow India mustard in full sun and well-drained neutral to alkaline soil. It will not tolerate severe heat or hard freezing temperatures. The leaves are most flavorful when nights are cool. Warm weather causes bitter tasting foliage and early bolting. The best planting times are early spring or late summer or early winter. Where year round temperatures are mild, it makes a great winter crop. To prevent self-sowing, remove the plants once bolting occurs.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Light Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Burgundy, Dark Red

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes