Bega Liz
Posts: 62
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 06:21
Location: Bega Valley, NSW
Contact: Website

Mizuna - B. rapa or B. juncea?

I posted elsewhere today that mizuna would cross with bok choi as they are both Brassica rapa. I got queried on this by someone who thought mizuna might actually be Brassica juncea. A quick google search does show that seed suppliers have 'mizuna' in their catalogues under both B. rapa and B. juncea depending on which one you look at.
Sources like wikipedia, and The American Phytopathological Society and some other research papers use B. rapa for mizuna.
I think the source of the confusion might be that the common name 'mizuna' is used for two different things.
There are chinese mustards, like Ruby Streaks, that sometimes get referred to as 'Red Mizuna'. I'm fairly sure these are B. juncea. So a green chinese mustard with finely cut leaves could easily be referred to as 'mizuna' and be B. juncea. While the plant I commonly refer to as mizuna is still B. rapa.
Anyone able to shed more light on this?
Anyone know the botanical differences so we can identify whether they are B. rapa or B. juncea in the garden without resorting to a lab?
Posts: 17
Joined: 16 Nov 2021, 17:04

Re: Mizuna - B. rapa or B. juncea?

oooh, that's interesting. i don't have any more insight on it but I think mizuna is used pretty broadly.
MBMSS - Lloyd
Posts: 8
Joined: 15 Nov 2021, 00:01

Re: Mizuna - B. rapa or B. juncea?

Based on most genomic research available - all that cloister of species will definitely eventually cross - most likely at different levels depending on which species or group you are growing.

It's hard to know how easily they cross- So I'd say isolate them all really well if you want true varieties/species.
But if you plant enough in a block you can probably say the middle ones are likely to be the best plants seeds to save (like corn).

I've had pretty good luck with growing and regrowing and testing those brassica seeds if they are isolated a bit in poly tunnels etc.
So Mizuna, mibuna and various other turnips etc have grown not too variable from their parents.

And the name Mizuna is often used like cabbage or broccoli and is pretty generic these days.
And there are a huge number of plant varieties now called 'Mizuna' that look radically different from each other.

The triangle of U is fairly well confirmed through a great deal of research and any of the Brassica species - diploid nigra, rapa, oleracea, and their tetraploid crosses of carinata, juncea and napus will cross with each other and have done so in the past to form the current vaguely stable species we see and grow.

some good reading about it...

Brassica Triangle of U - wikipedia

Genome triplication drove the diversification of Brassica plants - Nature

Complete mitochondrial genome sequences of Brassica rapa (Chinese cabbage and mizuna), and intraspecific differentiation of cytoplasm in B. rapa and Brassica juncea - US National institute of Health

KEW ... 30043511-2

Mizuna - Transcriptome Analysis and Metabolic Profiling of Green and Red Mizuna (Brassica rapa L. var. japonica) ... r_japonica

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