Purple Top Turnip
Brassica rapa ‘Purple Top’
- Type: Vegetable, Heirloom
- Zone: 3 – 12
- Height: 12 – 15 Inches
- Width: 12 – 15 Inches
- Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
- Soil: Well-Drained, pH 5.5 – 6.8
- Days to Maturity: 50
Purple Top Turnip is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety that has been the preferred standard of market farmers and backyard gardeners for over 100 years. Roots are white with purple crowns that will be exposed above ground as plants mature. The white flesh is tender and has the characteristic spicy flavor synonymous with raw turnips. When plants are thinned properly, roots may grow as large as 6″ in diameter.
Direct-seeding turnips is recommended for best results. The density of planting will depend on the desired harvest. In some cases, large bunches of leaves may be the goal, while other growers may target larger roots. If large bunches of leaves are desired, turnips may be planted densely where roots will remain small and leaves will grow large. If larger roots are desired, plant less dense or thin to one plant every 4 inches.
Turnip lovers cherish these deliciously sweet and tender, white roots which are handsomely blushed with pink to purple at the crown.
Raw turnip roots make a flavorful addition to any salad or raw vegetable medley. Flavor is best when turnip is harvested around 3-4″ wide. The flavor intensity will decrease somewhat during cooking. Purple Top is a popular variety for cooking the southern classic dish of turnip greens with roots. Plants produce large, lobed greens that are super-nutritious and are excellent sautéed or boiled. Leaves will have the best flavor when exposed to light frost in the late fall/winter months.