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Vital Statistics

Common Name: Fun Jen

Size: 1'-2' high, by 1'-2' wide

Leaf Characteristic: Wrinkly, leafy, smooth white petioles

Planting Season: Late Spring to Early Summer

Botanical Name: Brassica rapa Pekinensis

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

Soil Acidity: 5.6 (Acidic) to 7.0 (Neutral)

Also a reference to someone in my personal life who shall remain nameless! Or Something...

As I've been reminded it's absolutely positively required


I've altered my writeup so as not to appear the 'ignorant American' any longer! Thanks for the clarification Poot

Fun jen is different from bok choi. Bok choi is Brassica rapa Chinensis, and fun jen is Brassica rapa Pekinensis. Americans confuse the two plants all the time, but they are different. Fun jen looks more like a head of cabbage, with the leaves curled up around in a ball. Bok choi has loser leaves, and grows like collard or mustard greens. Because of this fun jen is also called Chinese white cabbage, but bok choi is also often called Chinese white cabbage. Probably the name that causes the least confusion in napa cabbage, but some people will confuse even that with standard bok choi.

If you think that keeping different subspecies of plants apart is nitpicking, remember that your everyday turnip is also Brassica rapa. It's important to keep your names straight.

But in the case of bok choi and fun jen, you actually do use them in the same way when cooking, and the difference in taste isn't very noticeable. The stems and leaves are good to eat. I've never heard of anyone eating the roots. Americans greatly prefer bok choi, since the looser leaves are easier to work with.

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