Talk:Turnip

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 Definition The edible root of the hardy plant Brassica rapa. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Food Science and Agriculture [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

This is a good test of English variants, naming conventions, and workgroups, all in one fell swoop.

Poor little turnip.


First, I think what Petrea is describing here is brassica rapa rapa, rather than plain old brassica rapa, which encompasses other plants as well, as far as I can tell.

So first question: should "turnip" describe...all root vegetables known as turnips in differing countries, in a disambiguation type format, or just brassica r. r.? (I think it should actually cover them all, or we're going to get fighting eventually).

Which means turnip, as Petrea means it, either has to be under "white turnip", which has its own problems, or under brassica rapa rapa or brassica rapa var. rapa--don't know which one is (more?) correct.

Does brassica r. r. belong in the biology workgroup as well as food and agriculture? (I would think so, but...?)

Aleta Curry 22:29, 14 October 2007 (CDT)

First, there is interesting breeding pedigrees going on here. Brassica rapa is the species for the white turnip (and you're correct it is the variety rapa). Swedes (aka yellow turnips and rutabaga, take your pick) are a different species, Brassica napus. But interestingly, B. napus is derived from B. rapa; B. rapa has 20 chromosomes and B. napus has all those chromosomes too. In addition, B. napus has another 18 chromosomes from Brassica oleracea (this has many well know varieties including Cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower).
But enough background, what of nomenclature? Turnip is a classic situation where we have multiple common names. Turnip should really be a disambiguation page for white and yellow turnip assuming we want to have single species articles (single varieties in this case). Alternatively turnip could be an interesting article about the distinction between well known vegetables known as turnips. I think the latter would be useful. In addition to such a general article we can have variety specific articles. So which common name do we use for Brassica napus var. napobrassica? We have several choices, and this is the crux of the biologist argument for using the latin names.
So what would I do then? I'd go with unambiguous latin names. Each variety will outline all the common names up front and be more scientific than general. Then I'd write a general article about turnips feeling free to discuss all vegetables labelled as turnip. Does this cover all our bases? Chris Day (talk) 23:17, 14 October 2007 (CDT)
And a yes to biology and agriculture. Chris Day (talk) 23:24, 14 October 2007 (CDT)
What I was trying for when I started this article was to cover whatever is commonly known as a turnip, but however you want to reorganize it is fine with me. The reason for the photo of the white turnips is just that that's what I could find to photograph. Petréa Mitchell 18:32, 15 October 2007 (CDT)