The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa
Brassica rapa
Brassica rapa L. , commonly known as turnip, turnip rape, field mustard or turnip mustard is a plant widely cultivated as a leaf vegetable , a root vegetable , and an oilseed .In the 18th century the turnip and...

var. rapa) is a root vegetable
Root vegetable
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant.Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of...

 commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot
A taproot is an enlarged, somewhat straight to tapering plant root that grows vertically downward. It forms a center from which other roots sprout laterally.Plants with taproots are difficult to transplant...

. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed
Fodder or animal feed is any agricultural foodstuff used specifically to feed domesticated livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens and pigs. Most animal feed is from plants but some is of animal origin...

 for livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

The most common type is mostly white-skinned apart from the upper 1–6 centimeters, which protrude above the ground and are purple, red, or greenish wherever sunlight has fallen.