Oil-seed Rape – Brassica napus

Also called ‘Rape’, ‘Rapeseed’ or ‘Siberian Kale’, this plant is quite a spectacle in early summer when seen covering fields in bright yellow flowers. The flowers have 4 petals, and they are borne in spikes. The elongated pods produce many seeds which yield an oil called rapeseed oil or canola which has many commercial uses. The leaves are greyish green with wavy margins and a pale midrib. The lower leaves are stalked and lobed, whilst the upper leaves are unstalked and clasp the stem.

It flowers May to August. Rape naturalises on cultivated land, field margins, roadsides and wasteland. Native, common and widespread throughout. It is widely cultivated.