Mustard plant and its difference to rapeseed

Mustard plant and its difference to rapeseed

What mustard and rapeseed have in common

Mustard and rapeseed look alike for a reason: they both belong to the cruciferous family, both bloom yellow and even the leaves are similar. They also have a height of 30 to 150 or 180cm in common

also read

  • Grow the mustard plant yourself
  • Growing mustard is easy
  • When does mustard have flowering time?

A comparison of mustard and rapeseed

Comparative featuremustardRapeseed
genusCabbage (Brassica) (brown and black mustard), mustard (yellow mustard)Cabbage (Brassica)
familyCruciferous vegetables (Brassicales)Cruciferous vegetables (Brassicales)
Botanical nameSinapis (yellow or white mustard), Brassica nigra (black mustard), Brassica juncea (brown mustard)Brassica napus
Stature30 to 180cm30 to 150cm
leavespinnate leaves with jagged edges that are reminiscent of rocketfeathery, a little less jagged than mustard
blossompale yellow flowers with four petalspale yellow flowers with four petals
HeydayJune to SeptemberApril to May
useLeaves as a side salad or spice in dishes, seeds for mustard production or as a spice, green manureFor the production of rapeseed oil and animal feed

The main differentiator: the flowering period

Even if the flowers of rapeseed and mustard look very similar, it is easy to tell them apart. Because rapeseed and mustard actually never bloom at the same time. While rapeseed has its flowering time in late spring in the months of April and May, mustard flowers in summer, usually from August, and more rarely in July or June.

A few inconspicuous differences can also be found in the leaves: Mustard leaves are more jagged at the edge and often more pinnate than rape leaves.

Better safe than sorry: the odor test

Everyone knows the penetrating smell of rapeseed. Doesn't the field smell like that at all? Then it's mustard for sure.

Use of rapeseed and mustard

While mustard seeds are very aromatic and thus enjoy great popularity as a spice, rapeseed seeds are used for the production of oil. The leaves of mustard also have a mild mustard taste and are therefore used in salads or as a spice in soups etc. What hardly anyone knows: Rapeseed leaves are also edible. However, they are less aromatic than mustard, but can also be used fresh and cooked. Make sure you are harvesting unsprayed leaves and grab them before they bloom!