Wild Turnips? - Knowledgebase Question

Dupree, SD
Avatar for 3riches
Question by 3riches
May 10, 1999
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 from NGA
May 10, 1999
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, www.prairiemoonnursery.com
Prairie Nursery, www.prairienursery.com
Prairie Ridge Nursery, ph# 608-437-5245

Good luck.

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