Brassica napus Linnaeus is a yellow flowering member of the Brassicacae family (Figure 114.1), also known as the mustard or cabbage family. B. napus is a hybrid evolved from B. rapa (syn. B. campestris) and B. oleracea (wild mustard) via crossbreeding.
B. napus or rapeseed is cultivated because its seeds yield about 40% oil. All parts of the rapeseed plant are utilized:
• Seeds are used for the production of oil for human nutrition, or for biodiesel
• Leaves are consumed as vegetables (mainly in Asia) and as animal fodder
• Oilseed cake and rapeseed meal (after hexane extraction), being by-products of oil processing, are used as protein-rich animal feed
• Dried stalks are used as domestic fuel.
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