An annual or biennial herb, found as long-established populations on river and canal banks, and as a casual on roadsides, in arable fields and on tips. Lowland.
Subsp. campestris is the taxon found in semi-natural habitats. Two other subspecies are widely cultivated in Britain: subsp. oleifera is a bird-seed or oil-seed species; subsp. rapa (Turnip) is a frequent relic of cultivation. The maps in the 1962 Atlas are unreliable, since this species was confused with B. napus.
A native of Eurasia; its precise native range is completely obscured by its spread in cultivation. It is also naturalised in Africa, N. & S. America and Australasia.
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Light (Ellenberg): 7
Moisture (Ellenberg): 5
Reaction (Ellenberg): 7
Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 6
Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0
January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.9
July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15
Annual Precipitation (mm): 993
Height (cm): 100
Perennation - primary
Perennation - secondary
Life Form - primary
Life Form - secondary
Comment on Life Form
Clonality - primary
Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1407
Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 630
Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 7
Atlas Change Index: 0.74
Weighted Changed Factor: 6
Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)
Atlas text references
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1996)
1991. Crucifers of Great Britain and Ireland. Botanical Society of the British Isles Handbook no. 6.
2000. Domestication of plants in the Old World, edn 3.