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Rutabagas are a cool season root vegetable which can also be used as a fall cover crop. The large root is purple and white and the leaves are usually bluish-green. It can be boiled, baked, roasted, or mashed, as well as eaten raw in salads.

Latin Name

Brassica napus



Type of Plant

Annuals Annuals
Vegetables Vegetables


Fall Fall
Winter Winter


Max height Max Height: 2'
Max spread Max Spread: 1'


  • Vegetable
  • Edible

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Sun Full Sun


    Native Range



    George Washington wrote in March of 1788, "I causd to be sown a bed of Reynold's Turnip rooted Cabbages for the purpose of raising plants to put in my Corn Rows." The phrase "Turnip rooted Cabbages" was commonly used to refer to rutabagas.

    Other Details

    Grown by Washington Grown by Washington

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Lower Garden

  • Lower Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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