Herb: Wild Turnip

Latin name: Brassica rapa campestris

Synonyms: Brassica campestris, Brassica rapa silvestris

Family: Cruciferae

Medicinal use of Wild Turnip:

The tuberous roots and seeds are considered to be antiscorbutic. A rather strange report, the leaves are much more likely to contain reasonable quantities of vitamin C than the roots or seeds.

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

River banks, arable and waste land.

Edible parts of Wild Turnip:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A strong radish/cabbage flavour. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is best when cold pressed. Some varieties are rich in erucic acid which can be harmful.

Other uses of the herb:

The seed contains up to 45% of a semi-drying oil. It is used as a lubricant, luminant and in soap making.

Propagation of Wild Turnip:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in situ.

Cultivation of the herb:

River banks, arable and waste land.

Known hazards of Brassica rapa campestris:

The oil contained in the seed of some varieties of this species can be rich in erucic acid which is toxic. However, modern cultivars have been selected which are almost free of erucic acid.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.