Brassica napobrassica has many national and regional names. Rutabaga is the common American and Canadian term for the plant. This comes from the old Swedish word Rotabagge, meaning simply "ram root". In the U.S., the plant is also known as Swedish turnip or yellow turnip. The term swede is used instead of rutabaga in many Commonwealth countries.
The first known printed reference to the rutabaga comes from the Swiss botanist Gaspard Bauhin in 1620, where he notes that it was growing wild in Sweden. It is often considered to have originated in Scandinavia or Russia. It is said to have been widely introduced to Britain around 1900, but it was recorded as being present in the royal gardens in England as early as 1669 and was described in France in 1700. Introduction to North America came in the early 19th century with reports of rutabaga crops in Illinois as early as 1817. Delicious rutabaga recipes.