Growth Stages

What is the difference between oilseed rape and rapeseed oil?

Oilseed rape is a plant “crop” which produces a seed containing oil. The oil is extracted from the seed to produce rapeseed oil.

Oilseed rape begins its life as a small black seed.

black rapeseeds

From the seed a seedling emerges (kidney shaped leaf). At this seedling stage, slugs can cause extensive damage to the leaf.

rapeseed leaf

The seedling then forms a rosette. Pigeons now become a threat at this stage. They particularly love the large succulent leaves.

rapeseed seedling

Slug and pigeon damage at rosette stage.

rapeseed slug damage

From the rosette a bud emerges (green bud stage).

rapeseed green bud

From this green bud a bright yellow flower emerges and pollination is aided by pollen beetles and bees.

rapeseed yellow flower

This flower then begins to wither and becomes the pod, holding unripe green seed.

rapeseed pod       rapeseed pod

Over time the pod turns from green to brown and the seed inside turns from green to red/brown.

rapeseed green seed

When the pod has turned straw brown in colour and the seed has changed to a brown/black colour, the plant is ready for harvesting.  The oil is later extracted from this seed.

rapeseed black seed