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Useful Tropical Plants

Brassica rapa dichotoma

(Roxb.) Hanelt

Brassicaceae


This species has been cultivated as a food crop for many hundreds of years and, in that time, several quite distinct forms have arisen. The nomenclature of these forms is confused, to say the least, and by no means universally accepted. We have followed the treatment used by GRIN, though it is very likely to be revised in the future[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Brassica campestris dichotoma (Roxb.) G.Watt.

Sinapis dichotoma Roxb.

Brassica napus dichotoma (Roxb.) Prain

Brassica campestris toria Duthie & J.B.Fuller

Common Name: Indian Rape

No Image.

General Information

Indian rape is a biennial plant developed in cultivation from Brassica rapa. Growing from a non-fleshy taproot, it forms a loose rosette of leaves and a flowering stem up to 100cm tall.
The plant has a long history of cultivation in India dating back to around 1,500 BCE. Of less importance nowadays, it is still sometimes cultivated, mainly in India and Nepal, for its oil-rich seeds[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Known Hazards

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.

Botanical References

74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

A cultivated form of Brassica rapa.

Habitat

Not known in the wild.

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitBiennial
Height0.90 m
PollinatorsBees
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

Indian rape arose in cultivation from forms of Brassica rapa and is cultivated as an annual crop from the warm temperate zone to the tropics of India.
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a light sandy soil and dislikes a heavy soil[
37
Title
The Gardener's Assistant.
Publication
 
Author
Thompson. B.
Publisher
Blackie and Son.
Year
1878
ISBN
-
Description
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
]. Prefers cool moist growing conditions[
16
Title
New Vegetable Growers Handbook.
Publication
 
Author
Simons.
Publisher
Penguin
Year
1977
ISBN
0-14-046-050-0
Description
A good guide to growing vegetables in temperate areas, not entirely organic.
]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3.

Edible Uses

Leaves - raw or cooked. A bit on the coarse side, though the young leaves can be added in moderation to salads whilst older leaves make an acceptable vegetable[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

An edible oil is obtained from the seeds[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

A semi-drying oil obtained from the seed can be used for lighting, soap making etc.

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in the spring.

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