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Brassica napus arvensis - (Lam.)Thell.

Common Name Coleseed
Family Brassicaceae or Cruciferae
USDA hardiness 6-9
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.
Habitats Banks of streams, ditches and arable fields in Britain[17].
Range Europe - Mediterranean. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Brassica napus arvensis Coleseed


Brassica napus arvensis Coleseed

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Brassica napus arvensis is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

Cultivated Beds.

Banks of streams, ditches and arable fields in Britain[17].

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Oil.

Leaves - raw or cooked[4, 34, 37]. Added to salads or used as a potherb[183]. Immature flowering stems - cooked in much the same way as broccoli[183]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed, it is used mainly for cooking purposes, but also for salads[4, 13, 34, 46, 183]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. The sprouted seed is often used as the mustard part of mustard and cress. Eaten in salads[4, 34, 37, 183]. The seed is used as a mustard flavouring[183].

Medicinal Uses



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Diuretic;  Emollient.

The root is emollient and diuretic[240]. The juice of the roots is used in the treatment of chronic coughs and bronchial catarrh[240, 269]. The seed, powdered, with salt is said to be a folk remedy for cancer[269]. 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[269].

Other Uses

Green manure;  Oil.

The seed contains up to 45% of an edible semi-drying oil, it is used as a luminant, lubricant, in soap making etc[13, 21, 57, 142]. A good green manure, the deep taproot improves drainage and loosens heavy soils[18, 20, 87].

Cultivation details

Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil[52]. Prefers a heavy soil and cool moist conditions[16, 20]. Sunny days and cool nights are favourable for plant growth whilst dry weather at harvest time is essential[269]. Coleseed 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[269]. 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[269]. Coleseed is the form of this species most often found either escaped or naturalized in Britain. It has a non-tuberous root and has been cultivated as a fodder crop, oil-seed crop and green manure[17]. Coleseed is 70% self-pollinating and 30% cross-pollinated. Even if wind and insects are absent, seed are still produced. Yield increases with honeybees[269]. The growth of this plant is inhibited by field mustard and hedge mustard growing nearby[18, 20]. This species is closely related to B. rapa[200].

Propagation

Seed - sow in situ in early spring to mid-August for a green manure crop.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Author

(Lam.)Thell.

Botanical References

200

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