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Steppe Cabbage

Rapistrum perenne

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Brassicaceae (Cabbage)
Also in this family:
Alpine Pennycress, Alpine Rock-cress, American Wintercress, Annual Wall Rocket, Austrian Yellowcress, Awlwort, Bastard Cabbage, Black Mustard, Bristol Rock-cress, Charlock, Common Scurvygrass, Common Whitlowgrass, Coralroot, Creeping Yellowcress, Cuckooflower, Dame's-violet, Danish Scurvygrass, Dittander, Early Wintercress, Eastern Rocket, English Scurvygrass, Evergreen Candytuft, False London Rocket, Field Pennycress, Field Pepperwort, Flixweed, Garden Arabis, Garden Candytuft, Garden Cress, Garden Radish, Garden Rocket, Garlic Mustard, Glabrous Whitlowgrass, Gold of Pleasure, Great Yellowcress, Greater Cuckooflower, Greater Periwinkle, Greater Swinecress, Hairy Bittercress, Hairy Rock-cress, Hairy Rocket, Hairy Whitlowgrass, Hedge Mustard, Hoary Cress, Hoary Mustard, Hoary Stock, Hoary Whitlowgrass, Honesty, Horseradish, Hutchinsia, Hybrid Watercress, Intermediate Periwinkle, Isle of Man Cabbage, Large Bittercress, Lesser Swinecress, London Rocket, Lundy Cabbage, Marsh Yellowcress, Mountain Scurvygrass, Narrow-fruited Watercress, Narrow-leaved Bittercress, Narrow-leaved Pepperwort, Northern Rock-cress, Northern Yellowcress, Oilseed Rape, Perennial Rocket, Perennial Wall Rocket, Perfoliate Pennycress, Pinnate Coralroot, Purple Rock-cress, Pyrenean Scurvygrass, Rock Whitlowgrass, Russian Rocket, Scottish Scurvygrass, Sea Kale, Sea Radish, Sea Rocket, Sea Stock, Shepherd's Cress, Shepherd's Purse, Small-flowered Wintercress, Smith's Pepperwort, Swede, Sweet Alyssum, Tall Rocket, Thale Cress, Tower Mustard, Treacle Mustard, Trefoil Cress, Turnip, Wall Whitlowgrass, Wallflower, Wallflower Cabbage, Warty Cabbage, Watercress, Wavy Bittercress, White Mustard, Wild Cabbage, Wild Candytuft, Wild Radish, Wild Turnip, Wintercress, Woad, Yellow Whitlowgrass
Life Cycle:
Biennial or Perennial
Maximum Size:
80 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
Bright yellow terminal flower spike at the top of the plant.
The fruit is a waisted pod. The upper part of the pod tapers into a beak.
The leaf is pinnately lobed. Biennial or short-lived perennial.
Other Names:
Perennial Bastard Cabbage.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Rapistrum perenne is a species of flowering plant in the cabbage family. It is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to other parts of the world as a weed. The plant is known for its hairy leaves and yellow flowers, and can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. It is a perennial plant, meaning it can live for more than two years. Rapistrum perenne is considered an invasive weed in many areas, as it can grow aggressively and displace native vegetation. The plant is commonly found in fields, gardens, and waste areas. It is toxic to livestock, and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested.


Steppe Cabbage: A Staple of Mediterranean Cuisines

Steppe cabbage, also known as Rapistrum perenne, is a hardy plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. This plant is known for its versatility and is used in a variety of dishes in Mediterranean cuisines.

Steppe cabbage has long been an important food source for many communities in the Mediterranean region. It is a very hardy plant that is able to thrive in hot, dry conditions and can be harvested year-round, making it a reliable source of food even in harsh climates. The plant is also very easy to grow and requires little maintenance, making it an ideal crop for small farmers and homesteaders.

The leaves of the steppe cabbage plant are similar in texture and taste to collard greens, but with a slightly bitter flavor. They can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or boiled and are a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes. In Italy, steppe cabbage is used to make the popular dish called "cima di rapa," which is made by boiling the leaves and serving them with olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes. In Greece, steppe cabbage is often stuffed with rice, herbs, and spices to make dolmades, while in Turkey it is used to make a hearty soup known as "tarhana."

Aside from its culinary uses, steppe cabbage has numerous health benefits. It is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also low in calories, making it a great option for those watching their weight.

Steppe cabbage is a versatile and hardy plant that has been a staple food source in Mediterranean cuisines for centuries. Its ease of growth, health benefits, and delicious flavor make it a great option for those looking to add more greens to their diets. Whether you're looking to try something new in the kitchen or grow your own food, steppe cabbage is definitely worth considering.

Additionally, steppe cabbage is also known for its high tolerance to salinity, making it a popular choice for farmers in areas with high soil salinity levels. This means that it can be grown in areas where other crops might not thrive, making it an important crop for sustainable agriculture and food security in some regions.

Steppe cabbage is also a great option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint as it is a low-maintenance crop that requires minimal inputs. It does not need to be fertilized regularly and does not require much water, making it an environmentally-friendly choice for both farmers and consumers.

In recent years, steppe cabbage has become more widely available in specialty food stores and online, making it easier for people to try this delicious and nutritious food. Whether you are looking to add more greens to your diet, support sustainable agriculture, or try something new in the kitchen, steppe cabbage is a great choice.

Steppe cabbage, also known as Rapistrum perenne, is a hardy, nutritious, and versatile plant that has been a staple food source in Mediterranean cuisines for centuries. Its ease of growth, health benefits, and delicious flavor make it a great option for anyone looking to try something new and delicious, while also making a positive impact on their health and the environment.

It is also worth mentioning that steppe cabbage is a member of the Brassica family, which includes other popular vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. This family of vegetables is known for its high nutrient content and health benefits, making steppe cabbage a great addition to any healthy diet.

When selecting steppe cabbage, look for fresh, vibrant leaves that are free from wilting or yellowing. Store the leaves in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container, and use within a few days for the best taste and nutritional quality.

When cooking with steppe cabbage, there are many options to choose from. As mentioned earlier, it can be eaten raw, steamed, sautéed, or boiled, making it a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It pairs well with other Mediterranean flavors such as garlic, olive oil, and lemon, and can be used as a substitute for collard greens or kale in many recipes.

In conclusion, steppe cabbage is a valuable addition to any healthy diet, and its versatility and delicious flavor make it a great option for those looking to try something new in the kitchen. Whether you are growing your own food, shopping at your local farmer's market, or simply looking for a new vegetable to try, steppe cabbage is definitely worth considering.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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