Bok Choy breeding

Does anyone know of a compact and colourful bok choy variety? Is anyone trying to create one and can offer suggestions as to good parentage to create this? I would like to eat it myself, but also for market.

Bok Choy is also known as Pak Choy around here, the names are used interchangeably where I live. They are Brassica rapa. Good little plants, nutritious, and simple to grow. Some varieties have white stems which I dislike, others have green stems which I prefer. There is ‘purple lady’ which has purple leaves, it looks too much like mustard and has low acceptance here. Some varieties are large, others are small, some are more open and others more compact, people here prefer the smaller more compact ones. You can’t give away larger ones ore ones that are more open.

Hon Tsai Tai is also known as Choy Sum where I live. They are also Brassica rapa. I have never grown or eaten these. I have seen them with pretty magenta stems that I think would have good acceptance here.

Presumably being the same species it would be simple to cross the two. I have started thinking about crossing them and trying to breed a small compact bok choy with magenta stems.

Recently I have heard about ‘vivid choy’, it seems to be a B rapa. It has stems of various shades of purple/pink, raggedy leaves, doesn’t look very nice, and I am told it tastes like hot mustard leaf rather than mild bok choy.

I am wondering if vivid choy was created by crossing bok choy and hon tsai tai, and may be the best outcome of a cross between them. Is that the best that can be made by crossing the two? If so, I won’t bother recreating this cross myself as the results are not all that great.

Does anyone know about ‘vivid choy’ and bok choy breeding that they are willing to share?


While I can’t say much about bok choy or breeding it, I would highly encourage you to start a little breeding program and see what you come up with. The topic seems to interest you, and I don’t imagine there are more than a handful of people in the world breeding bok choy. Who knows, you might come up with something really great!


While this is Nappa cabbage and not Bok Choi, it’s in the B rapa family and fits the description as compact and colorful!
I picked up starts at my local nursery in late summer and plan to grow some from seed for next year - happy with their mid-size and Nappa taste.



that would make for some colorful kimchi ! bet its got high antioxidants too.

That’s incredible! I will look around to see if anything similar is available here. No doubt there would be a market for something like that.

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