Quantitative resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans in Brassica napus was investigated in field and controlled environments using cultivars Darmor (with quantitative resistance) and Eurol (without quantitative resistance). In field experiments, numbers of phoma leaf spot lesions in autumn/winter and severity of stem canker the following summer were assessed in three growing seasons. There were no differences between Darmor and Eurol in number of leaf lesions in autumn/winter. However, stem cankers were less severe on Darmor than Eurol at harvest the following summer. In controlled-environment experiments, development of leaf lesions at different temperatures (5–25°C) and wetness durations (12–72 h) was investigated using ascospore inoculum; symptomless growth of L. maculans along leaf petioles towards the stem was quantified using quantitative PCR and visualized using GFP-expressing L. maculans; growth of L. maculans within stem tissues was investigated using GFP-expressing L. maculans. There were more leaf lesions on Darmor than Eurol, although there was no difference between Darmor and Eurol in L. maculans incubation period. There were no differences between Darmor and Eurol in either distance grown by L. maculans along leaf petioles towards the stem or quantity of L. maculans DNA in leaf petioles, but L. maculans colonized stem tissues less extensively on Darmor than Eurol. It was concluded that quantitative resistance to L. maculans operates during colonization of B. napus stems by the pathogen.