The turnip is a fleshy root vegetable related to broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and the mustards. Depending on age and variety, turnips can be round or shaped like a top, range in diameter from 2 inches to over a foot, and weigh up to 50 pounds. Their smooth skin can be white, yellow, green, or purple. The white or yellow flesh of the turnip has a slightly sweet, peppery flavor and a crisp texture.

Family Cruciferae Scientific name Brassica rapa Common name turnip y A good source of vitamin C


Numerous varieties of turnips are grown for harvest throughout the year. The Purple Top Milan, with flat white roots and purple markings, matures early and is good for winter production, as are the Manchester Market and the yellow-fleshed Golden Ball. The Purple Top White Globe is an old variety with round or flat roots that are reddish purple above ground and white below. The Snowball is a fast-maturing white turnip that generally is sown in spring, while the Tokyo Cross is an all-year crop. The Japanese cultivate long, carrot-shaped turnips called Hinona Kabu.

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