The Q&A Archives: Wild Turnips?

Question: Do you know where you can find seeds for the turnips that grew wild in South Dakota? They were dug up and used in soups. Today sometimes they are even braided and
hung to dry.

Answer: I can't identify for sure the plant you are talking about. There are two plants, not true turnips, but have that in their common name: Turnip-rooted chervils (Chaerophyllum spp.) are annuals or biennials, with feathery leaves; one type, C. bulbosum, grows from 3 to 6' tall and has edible roots. Another plant, Indian-Turnip (Arisaema spp.) are related to calla lilies and caladium, and are most often found in moist woods. Though they have tuberous roots, I could not find mention that they are used as food. Of the true turnips, Brassica rapa, I can't find information about a wild type.

I suggest you contact one of the following companies that specialize in native plants:

Prairie Moon Nursery,
Prairie Nursery,
Prairie Ridge Nursery, ph# 608-437-5245

Good luck.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"