There are over 30 varieties of turnips which differ in size, color, flavor and usage.
Purple-top turnips are the most common type. They are white skinned with a rosy purple top. The crisp white inner flesh has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Flavor of the root and greens becomes more mild when cooked.
Scarlet turnips are a vibrant red color and look like very large red radishes. They have sweet, crisp, white flesh with occasional splashes of red. They might be found at farmers markets.
Baby turnips are specialty varieties. They can be white, gold, pink or purple-topped; usually about 1 inch in diameter. Best when freshly harvested as they do not keep well. Most can be eaten whole, including their leaves.