Turnips are a versatile crop. Like beets, they can be grown for greens or for the bulb. They grow fairly quickly, maturing in about 2 months, so you can get more than one harvest in a season. However the bulbs form best in cool weather, around 60 F, so early spring and fall crops are favored.
We are most familiar with the white and purple tennis ball-sized turnips commonly sold, but there is a good deal of variety, including small, tender radish-sized turnips.
Turnips are in the Brassicaceae or mustard family and their green tops have a flavor that is similar to mustard greens. They have been cultivated for centuries.
Turnips have mustard-like leaves and their bulbs are generally either white or yellow.
The part of the bulb that protrudes above ground and is exposed to sunlight will change color to purple or green.
Leaves: Leaves are light green and slightly hairy. They grow into an elongated oval, with toothed or wavy edges.
Flowers: The flowers are small and yellow. As with other Brassica plants, the 4 petals form a cross, which is why they are also referred to as cruciferous vegetables.