Cruciferae, Brassicaceae Brassica campestris L. (Rapifera group)
Source: Magness et al. 1971
The turnip is grown from seed as an annual, used both for the enlarged fleshy root, and for the leaves as pot herbs. The plant first forms a rosette of thin, hairy leaves on slender petioles. The root soon enlarges to a globular or generally flattened tuberous tissue, which is tender but later becomes tougher and somewhat fibrous. Roots are generally harvested when 3 inches or less in diameter. Certain varieties, such as Seven Top and Italian Kale, are grown primarily for the leaves. Plants should grow rapidly for best quality, both for greens and roots.
Production in U.S.: 22,253 acres for roots; 9,370 acres for greens; 1959 census. Probably 250,000 tons roots and 30,000 tons greens.
Use: Roots as cooked vegetable; leaves as pot herbs. Leaves also canned and frozen commercially.
Parts of plant consumed: Roots, usually peel removed; whole leaves.