Immature flowering stems - cooked in much the same way as broccoli. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is used mainly for cooking purposes, but can also be used raw in salad dressings. Some caution is advised, however, see the notes above on toxicity. The sprouted seed is often used as the mustard part of mustard and cress. Eaten in salads.The seed is used as a mustard flavouring.
The seed husks are used in plastering house walls.A good green manure, the deep taproot improves drainage and loosens heavy soils.
The seed, powdered, with salt is said to be a folk remedy for cancer.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. It is dropped into the ear to relieve earaches.
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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. Brassica napus is an aggregate species, probably derived through cultivation. It is thought that crosses of Brassica oleracea subsp. oleracea with B. rapa gave rise to the subsp. B. napus pabularia, from which subsp. napus and subsp. rapifera and other cvs were derived. The aggregate species includes forms with swollen edible roots (B. napus napobrassica, the garden swede), forms grown for their oil-rich seeds (B. napus napus, the oilseed rape), forms grown for their edible leaves (B. napus pabularia, the rape kales) whilst the form grown as a green manure is B. napus arvensis. All these forms are treated separately here. The oil obtained from the seed is high in erucic acid and glucosinolates, both of which have anti-nutritional properties. Cultivars have been developed that have a low content of these items and are therefore suitable for food. Colza is 70% self-pollinating and 30% cross-pollinated. Even if wind and insects are absent, seed are still produced. Yield increases with honeybees. The growth of this plant is inhibited by field mustard and hedge mustard growing nearby.This species is closely related to B. rapa.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
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