Brassica rapa displays a wide range of morphological diversity which is exploited for a variety of food crops. Here we present a high-quality genome assembly for pak choi (Brassica rapa L. subsp. chinensis), an important non-heading leafy vegetable, and comparison with the genomes of heading type Chinese cabbage and the oilseed form, yellow sarson. Gene presence–absence variation (PAV) and genomic structural variations (SV) were identified, together with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The structure and expression of genes for leaf morphology and flowering were compared between the three morphotypes revealing candidate genes for these traits in B. rapa. The pak choi genome assembly and its comparison with other B. rapa genome assemblies provides a valuable resource for the genetic improvement of this important vegetable crop and as a model to understand the diversity of morphological variation across Brassica species.