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Edible uses


Leaves - cooked as a potherb[1]. A mild, cabbage-like flavour[K]. Root - raw or cooked[2][3][4][5][1]. A richer flavour than turnips, it makes a good cooked vegetable and, when finely grated, is acceptable in mixed salads[183, K]. The root can be 30cm or more in diameter, though it is usually eaten smaller since it then is more tender[K]. It is available from early autumn, and can either be left in the ground over winter to be harvested as required, or can be harvested and stored in a cool, frost-free place where it will keep for 6 months[K].


Material uses

The seed contains up to 45% of an edible semi-drying oil, it is used as a luminant, lubricant, in soap making etc[6][7][8][9].
There are no material uses listed for Brassica napus napobrassica.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The root is emollient and diuretic[10]. The juice of the roots is used in the treatment of chronic coughs and bronchial catarrh[10][11].

The seed, powdered, with salt is said to be a folk remedy for cancer[11].

Rape oil is used in massage and oil baths, it is believed to strengthen the skin and keep it cool and healthy. With camphor it is applied as a remedy for rheumatism and stiff joints[11].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow April to June in situ.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Brassica napus napobrassica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[3][12]. Prefers a stiff moist soil and a fairly high rainfall[3][13][14]. Another report says that it prefers a light but rich soil and an open sunny position[15]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil[16]. Sunny days and cool nights are favourable for plant growth whilst dry weather at harvest time is essential[11]. Swede is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 30 to 280cm, an annual average temperature range of 5 to 27°C and a pH in the range of 4.2 to 8.2[11].

Very young plants are susceptible to cold damage, -4°C either killing or injuring seedlings, whereas -2°C has no affect when the plants are more than one month old[11]. The garden swede is often cultivated for its edible root, there are several named varieties[1]. The plant is somewhat hardier than turnips and in most parts f Britain it can usually be left outdoors all winter and harvested as required. Plants take 4 - 6 weeks longer to mature than turnips[1]. Swede is 70% self-pollinating and 30% cross-pollinated. Even if wind and insects are absent, seed are still produced. Yield increases with honeybees[11].

A good companion plant for peas but it dislikes growing with hedge mustard and knotweed[17].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Brassica napus napobrassica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Brassica napus napobrassica.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Brassica napus napobrassica
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    3. ? Simons. New Vegetable Growers Handbook. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-050-0 (1977-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    9. ? 9.09.1 Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man. Academic Press ISBN 0-12-136450-x (1975-00-00)
    10. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    11. ? Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    13. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    14. ? Hills. L. Comfrey Report. Henry Doubleday Research Ass. ()
    15. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Vegetables Macmillan Reference Books, London. ISBN 0 333 62640 0 (1995-00-00)
    16. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (1980-00-00)
    17. ? Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979-00-00)