Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
BRASSICA napus var. napobrassica
Rutabaga, Swede , Swedish Turnip
Long grown as animal fodder and for its edible rootstock, this biennial vegetable probably originated as a hybrid between turnip (Brassica rapa) and wild cabbage (B. oleracea). The large, swollen, succulent "root" is purple, yellow or white with yellowish flesh. It actually comprises the hypocotyl (the portion of the embryonic plant between the root and the seedling leaves) and the base of the stem. Plants produce a rosette of large, bluish, deeply lobed leaves that are fleshy and cabbage-like. The protein-rich leaves make excellent cattle forage. Young leaves are good for cooking. Erect, branching clusters of light yellow flowers appear in summer, or in spring on overwintering plants. Rattlebox seed capsules follow, opening to scatter many reddish-brown to black seeds.
This cool-weather crop prefers full sun and moderately fertile, humus-rich, slightly acid soil with ample drainage. Rutabaga cultivars generally mature 90 to 120 days from planting. Young leaves for cooking may be harvested much earlier. Sow them in late spring or early summer for harvesting in fall after frost. Seeds germinate poorly in cold soil. In areas with mild climates they can be sown in fall for a winter crop. Hot weather or prolonged chilly spells may cause them to flower ("bolt"), which usually results in bitter-tasting, dwindling plants. Rutabaga plants will take a good deal of frost. They are not heavy feeders and may not need fertilizer if grown in rotation with nitrogen-fixing legumes. Use rutabagas in hardy root vegetable mashes. The "roots" will keep for months if stored in a cold, slightly moist medium such as sand or sawdust.
9 - 3
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
1'-4' / 0.3m - 1.2m
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Yellow, Light Yellow
Green, Blue Green, Black
Green, Blue Green
Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Mixed Border
Preferred Commerce. All Rights Reserved.