Wild Turnip (Brassica rapa spp. silvestris)

Photo: (c) Phil Bendle

Family: Brassicaceae

Photo: (c) Phil Bendle

Growth Habit: An erect plant with branching stems. It can grow to a height of 1 m but usually 70 cm. The warts on the leaves during immature stages distinguish it from close relatives such as Charlock and Wild Radish. Leaves on the rosette are covered with bristly hairs. The leaves present near the top of this flower stem are quite smooth, lacking the bristly hairs of rosette leaves. In the mature stage the stem clasping leaves help with identification.

Type of Plant: Wild Turnip is an annual, which forms a rosette in its early stages.

Photo: (c) Phil Bendle

Flowers: The flowers occur in clusters at the top of the stalks. They are bright yellow with 4 petals averaging 15 mm in diameter.

Fruit/Seed: A long flattened pod with several small, oval seeds within.

Dispersal: Main germination occurs in autumn and spring, however germination will also occur in summer given adequate moisture.

Distribution: Widespread throughout Tasmania. It is a major weed in all arable crops, roadsides and waste areas.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania

Weed Impact:

  • Wild Turnip competes strongly with arable crops and can overwhelm young and low growing crops. It is capable of causing substantial crop losses.

For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Control Methods:

  • Herbicide. For roadsides, waste areas and pastures, herbicides registered for use include glyphosate, MCPA and dicamba. Contact DPIPWE for specific recommendations for in-crop use.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.