Brassica rapa nipposinica
This species has been cultivated as a food crop for many hundreds of years and, in that time, several quite distinct forms have arisen. The nomenclature of these forms is confused, to say the least, and by no means universally accepted. We have followed the treatment used by GRIN, though it is very likely to be revised in the future[
Brassica japonica Makino
Brassica nipposinica L.H.Bailey
Common Name: Mizuna
The harvested plant?
Photograph by: Uo3rt
Mizuna is an annual to biennial plant developed in cultivation from Brassica rapa. Growing from a non-fleshy taproot, it forms a dense rosette of leaves from which eventually arises a flowering stem up to 100cm tall.
Mizuna is widely cultivated in China and Japan for its edible leaves[
], there are many named varieties[
The oil contained in the seed of some varieties of this species can be rich in erucic acid which is toxic. However, modern cultivars have been selected which are almost free of erucic acid.
A cultivar of garden origin
Not known in the wild.
Fairly hardy, tolerating quite hard frosts, though plants are likely to die if this is coupled with wet weather[
]. Plants are also tolerant of summer heat[
Succeeds in full sun in most well-drained fertile soils[
]. Summer crops tolerate light shade[
]. Prefers a pH of 5.5 to 7[
]. Prefers a cool moist reasonably fertile soil[
]. The plant is shallow rooted and intolerant of drought, it needs to be grown in a moist fertile soil for the best quality leaves[
This plant is one of the most resistant to bolting of the oriental brassicas and can be sown in spring. It can also be planted in the summer for an autumn and winter crop[
]. Mizuna can also be transplanted successfully[
A fast growing plant, it can be cropped on a cut and come again basis starting just 2 - 3 weeks after sowing and has been known to continue cropping for 10 months before going to seed[
A very ornamental plant[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. They can be eaten at any stage from seedling to mature plant though older leaves become fibrous[
]. A very good salad, the leaves can also be cooked as greens or in soups etc[
]. The leaf stalks can also be eaten but require more cooking than the leaves[
]. It can be used as a cut and come again crop. regrowing rapidly after being harvested[
Immature flowering stems - cooked like broccoli[
]. A sweet flavour[
Seed - sow in situ or in a seed bed from mid spring to September. Thinnings can be transplanted[
]. Some varieties can also be sown in a cold greenhouse in late autumn or early spring to provide leaves overwinter and in late spring.