Brassica alba

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Related to Brassica alba: Brassica hirta, Mustard plant

Brassica alba,

n See mustard.


a genus of plants of the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family containing a large number of cultivated plants eaten by humans and food animals. Poisoning with them is rare but under particular growing conditions and if the diet consists almost entirely of the one plant some massive outbreaks of poisoning can occur.
Poisoning syndromes attributed to Brassica spp. include hemolytic anemia (kale anemia) caused by SMCO, goiter from glucosinolates, nitrate/nitrite, photosensitization, blindness (polioencephalomalacia), respiratory distress and rumen stasis.
Includes B. campestris (B. rapa), B. hirta (Sinapis alba), B. juncea (Indian or leaf mustard), B. kaber (Sinapis arvensis), B. napus var. napus (B. napus), B. sinapistrum (Sinapis arvensis).

Brassica alba
annual weed; the seed is used, together with that of B. nigra, to make commercial mustard. The seed, stubble or plant in pod can cause gastroenteritis with signs of abdominal pain, salivation and diarrhea. The toxin is a mixture of isothiocyanates called mustard oil. The enzyme myrosinase is needed to activate the oil and produce irritant effect. Oil cake containing the oil may be nontoxic because myrosinase is inactivated but can become toxic if animal has access to alternative source of the enzyme simultaneously.
Brassica napobrassica
swede turnip.
Brassica napus
rape or canola.
Brassica nigra
seeds are used in mixtures with B. alba in the manufacture of commercial mustard powder. Can cause poisoning as for B. alba (see above).
Brassica oleracea
the commercial vegetables and cultivated fodder plants. Includes B. o. var. acephala (kale, cole, chou moellier), B. o. var. botrytis (cauliflower), B. o. var. capitata (cabbage), B. o. var. gemmifera (Brussel sprouts), B. o. var. italica (broccoli, calabrese).
Brassica rapa
Brassica rapa subsp. campestris
turnip rape.