Rutabaga, the name of a plant and of its edible root. The roots are eaten by humans and are fed to livestock. Rutabagas are similar to turnips in appearance and are also called turnips, Swedish turnips, or winter turnips. Rutabagas, however, have smooth, waxy leaves; turnip leaves are hairy and have no waxy covering.
Rutabagas may have either white- or yellow-fleshed roots. The roots are harvested when they are about four to five inches (10 to 13 cm) in diameter. Rutabagas are grown in areas with cool climates such as Canada and the northern regions of the United States and of Europe. There are many different rutabaga varieties, some grown for livestock feed, others for table use. Among the principal varieties grown for table use are the American Purple Top and Laurentian.
The rutabaga is Brassica napobrassica of the mustard family, Cruciferae.Rutabagas have edible roots similar to turnips.