Vern. Shaljam, gonglu.
Brassica campestris var. rapa (L.)
Biennial with tuberous tap root; stem up to 100 cm tall, branched, ± hairy below and glabrous above. Lower leaves grass-green, lyrate-pinnatifid, usually 5-jugate, 10-30 cm long, 5-10 cm broad, stalked, ± bristly; middle and upper leaves glabrous and glaucous, sessile, oblong-lanceolate, at least 1/2 clasping the stem with broadened cordate base. Racemes 30-40-flowered, corymbose above, lengthening late so that the opened flowers overtop the buds. Flowers 6-10 mm across, dull to golden yellow; pedicel 6-15 mm long, increasing up to 30 mm in fruit. Sepals 4-6 mm long, 2 mm broad. Petals 8-1.0 mm long, 3.5-5 mm broad. Stamens 4:6 mm long. Siliquae 35-80 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, linear, subtorulose, including 10-20 mm long (c. 1 /3-1 /4 as long as the valves) beak (with 0-1 seed) ; valves membranous, yellowish, glabrous with a prominent mid-vein; septum membranous, not veined; seeds 8-12 in each locule, globose, c.1.8 mm in diam., pale yellowish-brown, black near the hilum, finely reticulate-alveolate.
Fl. Per.: March-April.
Type: Described from Europe: England, Belgium etc.
Distribution: Widely cultivated throughout the world and not wild anywhere. Mediterranean region and C. Asia are said to be its centre of origin.
Turnip is extensively cultivated throughout the area, during winter, for its tuberous roots which are used as food and fodder.