Knowing the Different Species of Turnips

Turnips are very easy vegetables to grow but there are actually a number of different species of turnips each of which is slightly different.

Common Turnips

The most common variety of turnip is white fleshed. Most turnips grown for human consumption are small, which means they are tender. However, larger turnips are often grown for livestock food. The tops of the common turnip plant can also be eaten and these resemble mustard leaves in flavor and appearance.

Baby Turnips

A baby turnip is a specialty type of turnip and this isn't actually a different species. This is simply where the turnips are harvested before they have chance to grow to a bigger size.


A rutabaga, or swede, yellow turnip, or Swedish turnip is a different species of plant which is also sometimes called a turnip. This plant is very similar to other types of turnips. This was created by crossing a cabbage with the common turnip breed. It's also possible to eat the leaves of this vegetable as a salad.

Chinese Cabbage (Bok Choy)

Chinese cabbage is from the same family as turnips but is a different sub-species. This plant originally came from China in the 15th century.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage is a popular plant used in Chinese and Asian cuisine. This plant also belongs to the same family as the common turnip.