Oilseed Rape

Brassica napus Oilseed Rape

Oilseed Rape, Rapeseed or just Rape (Brassica napus) is a popular and important crop. However, it can also be found growing wild, at least here in the Palatinate. I found some of the Rape plants shown here in a parking lot.

Oilseed Rape in front of a wall
Rape plant about 1.5 metres high in front of a wall.

Oilseed Rape grows as an annual or biennial. If the seeds germinate in the autumn, the plants will not flower until the following spring. Depending on location and cultivar, they can grow up to 1.5 metres high.

Here in Germany, wild Rape flowers from April to September.

Brassica napus grows best in partly to fully sunny places with humusy, slightly loamy and evenly moist soil.

Oilseed Rape is often found along roadsides, motorways and railway embankments.

wild growing Oilseed Rape
Rape growing wild in a parking lot.

Oilseed Rape as a biotope

Anyone who has had Rape and other brassicas in the garden will know that these cruciferous plants are very popular with certain insects. These include butterflies such as the Cabbage Butterfly and the Cabbage Whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella).

Less popular is Anthomyia procellaris, pictured below. However, it only nibbles at the pollen and nectar of the Rape plants and does not damage them.

Anthomyia procellaris
Anthomyia procellaris


Brassica napus is a hybrid between Brassica oleracea (Cabbage) and Brassica rapa (Turnip) – source.

There are two subspecies of Oilseed Rape, one of which is the Rutabaga (Brassica napus subsp. rapifera).

flowering Oilseed Rape