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Brassica rapa Pak Choi Group [xiao bai cai]

Family Name: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)
Common Name: Bok Choy, Pak Choi, 小白菜
Full Sun Moderate Water Fruit or Vegetable Annual Herbaceous Plant


Family Name
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Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 15 cm to 20 cm

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Biennial herb up to 0.2 m tall.
Foliage Leaves are arranged in loose, erect heads. The oval leaf blade is about 13 cm long and 8 cm wide, thin and hairless. The leaf margin is lined with minute, soft teeth. The petiole (leaf stalk) is light green to greenish white near the leaf blade and whitish near the base. The leaf bases are slightly cupped like a soup spoon and overlap one another. 
Flowers Flowers are bisexual, produced in a raceme inflorescence. Flowers are pale yellow in colour, growing up to 1cm in length.
Fruits Fruits are dry and dehiscent pods known as siliques. Each fruit measures between 2.5-6cm ×3.50-6.5mm contain about 10-30 seeds. Seeds are round, 1mm in diameter, reddish to blackish-brown in color.
Cultivation Despite its preference for cooler temperatures of 15-20 degrees Celsius. There are varieties that are adapted to tropical climates and have been successfully grown in Singapore. They grow well in fertile, well-drained soil under full sun conditions. Uniform planting space of 10-20cm is preferred to avoid long thin stems. The plant can be harvested after 30-45 days upon sowing.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The leaves are commonly consumed as a cooked vegetable in Asian cuisine. They are often briefly stir-fried with garlic and ginger or placed in soups shortly before serving. The entire leaf including the petiole is eaten. )

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting
Seed or Spore Germination Duration To 3
Seed or Spore Germination Duration Unit Days


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Rosulate / Rosette
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oval)
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Serrulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded
Foliar Base Cuneate

Image Repository



Master ID 32119
Species ID 6525
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 16 January 2022.